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CROW WING COUNTY BOARD: Proposal aimed at addressing substance abuse, binge drinking

The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday authorized a letter of support to an organization proposed to address alcohol and binge drinking among youths.

The “strategic planning framework state incentive grant application” is submitted by Northern Pines Mental Health Center and Youth Wellness Initiative to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division.

The proposed submission “intends and proposes to develop processes and plans to address Minnesota’s three substance abuse prevention priorities: past 30-day alcohol use among sixth through 12th graders, recent binge drinking among ninth through 12th graders, and recent binge drinking among 18-25 year olds.”

The board asked for a report from the initiative.

Board members also briefly discussed progress on a detox center with Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom saying she’s heard of a wider trend of reduced detox center use that mirrors the reduced number of jail inmates.

Nystrom said she’d like to hear how the transport system is working to take people to detox outside of the county.

The county’s detox facility closed earlier this year. The county has been working with Northern Pines Mental Health on an alternate plan but two possible sites in Baxter for the detox center were determined to be inappropriate.

Commissioner Rosemary Franzen said the county spent $166,000 with its former vendor between January and May and spent $31,000 on detox in the last four months.

Commissioner Paul Thiede said the intensity of getting a decision has waned and they can look more carefully at the issue.

In other business, the board:

Adopted a resolution establishing Commercial Park Drive as a Town Road in the First Assessment District. Commercial Park Drive starts at Barbeau Road and runs northeast to Northwest Commercial Park.

Approved a proclamation of Nov. 16 as Geographic Information System Day in the county during Geography Awareness Week Nov. 13-19.

Approved a resolution authorizing the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership to submit an application for administrative authority to Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for participation in the Home Rental Rehabilitation Program for the county. In effect it allows CMHP to administer the state funds for the county as it has in the past. The rehabilitation loans between the property owner and the state is essentially a mortgage.

Since 1999, $2.3 million in funds was used in Crow Wing County on 182 home rental units utilized rehabilitation funds.

Heard an overview of the 2012 budget. The board will certify its levy in December. The county’s truth in taxation meeting is planned 6 p.m. Dec. 13. An insert with truth and taxation numbers will be going out to residents about Thanksgiving.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852.