Montco com­mis­sion­ers un­veil pub­lic safety ini­tia­tives

The Phoenix - - LOCAL NEWS - ByOs­carGam­ble ogam­ble@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @OGam­ble_TH on Twitter

In­no­va­tive pub­lic health and safety ini­tia­tiveswere the fo­cus of the Mont­gomery County com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing as new on­line ser­vices de­signed to ad­dress the opi­oid cri­sis and en­hance 911 ser­vices were dis­cussed.

Of­fi­cials from the Health Depart­ment un­veiled the county’s Geostory opi­oid web­site, a com­pre­hen­sive on­line por­tal pre­sent­ing maps, graphs, and in­for­ma­tion about avail­able re­sources for in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies seek­ing help.

Geostory was put to- gether by the county’s over­dose work­group, a joint en­deavor by the coro­ner’s of­fice, theHealthDepart­ment, the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice, the plan­ning com­mis­sion and the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety.

The aim of the Geostory plat­form is to fur­ther the Mont­gomery County Over­dose Task Force’s over­all ob- jec­tive of over­com­ing sub­stance use dis­or­der through pre­ven­tion, in­ter­ven­tion, and treat­ment. A link to the Geostory can be found on the over­dose pre­ven­tion page of the county’sweb­site.

An­other new­pub­lic safety re­source, Smart911.com, also made its de­but be­fore the com­mis­sion­ers Thurs­day morn­ing.

Smart911 is a free, se­cure web­site that pro­vides first re­spon­ders with im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion be­fore they ar­rive at the scene of an emer­gency.

Cit­i­zens can sign up via mo­bile phone and pro­vide as­much or as lit­tle per­ti­nent in­for­ma­tion as they want re­gard­ing the health sta­tus and med­i­cal needs of the peo­ple in their house­hold.

If an emer­gency should arise at a par­tic­i­pant’s ad­dress, dis­patch­ers and med­i­cal per­son­nel would be au­to­mat­i­cally no­ti­fied ofmed­i­cal con­di­tions, pre­scrip­tions, emer­gency con­tacts and other pro­vided in­for­ma­tion that could cut down on crit­i­cal re­sponse time and en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate care.

John Cor­co­ran, deputy di­rec­tor for ex­ter­nal af­fairs at the Pub­lic Safety Depart­ment, said he would like to see res­i­dents sign up at smart911.com as soon as pos­si­ble to take ad­van­tage of the po­ten­tially life-sav­ing re­source.

The com­mis­sion­ers also rec­og­nized 911 op­er­a­tor Suzanne Gardy founder of Hogs and Honeys Foun­da­tion For Kids, a child ad­vo­cacy group that sup­ports dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren, and 106 county em­ploy­ees who do­nated $4,550 toHur­ri­cane Harvey re­lief.

In other business Thurs­day, county Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Dean Dor­tone pre­sented the com­mis­sion­ers with a gen­eral fund fi­nan­cial up­date that showed the county with a $45.7 mil­lion fund bal­ance at the end of the sec­ond quar­ter.

Dor­tone said the county’s bud­get out­look is in line with ex­pec­ta­tions in terms of over­all rev­enue, and fed­eral and state grant rev­enues have been re­ceived on time. Ninety-seven per­cent of real es­tate taxes had been col­lected prior to the end of the flat-rate pe­riod in early June, and the county had not in­curred any large, one­time ex­penses.

While the county con­tin­ues to keep an eye on the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing fed­eral and state bud­gets, ac­cord­ing to Dor­tone, Penn­syl­va­nia’s re­cently an­nounced credit down­grade is not ex­pected to have any sig­nif­i­cant ef­fects on the county’s credit rat­ing, which the fi­nan­cial team is cur­rently pre­par­ing for review.

In other fi­nan­cial business, the com­mis­sion­ers passed an or­di­nance au­tho­riz­ing the is­suance of $20.5 mil­lion in gen­eral obli­ga­tion bonds; $14mil­lion of which would go pri­mar­ily to­ward fi­nanc­ing the re­fund­ing of out­stand­ing county-guar­an­teed rev­enue bonds; and $6 mil­lion in fed­er­ally tax­able gen­eral obli­ga­tion bonds ear­marked for fi­nanc­ing projects in the county’s cap­i­tal plan.

The com­mis­sion­ers also passed res­o­lu­tions au­tho­riz­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of a grant agree­ment with the Penn­syl­va­nia Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency to fi­nance the salaries of lo­cal PEMA of­fi­cials; grant­ing a plan­ning as­sis­tance con­tract to Lower Me­rion School Dis­trict; ap­prov­ing a sup­ple­men­tal re­im­burse­ment agree­ment for County Bridge 83 on But­ler Pike in Up­per Dublin Town­ship and a no-cost time ex­ten­sion agree­ment for road en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices on Fruitville Road Bridge in Up­per Hanover Town­ship; and au­tho­riz­ing ease­ments per­tain­ing to fu­ture con­struc­tion in theUp­per Perkiomen School Dis­trict.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A screen shot of a Power Point pre­sen­ta­tion ex­plain­ing the ben­e­fits of Smart911.com.

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