Commissioners hear presentation on mental health and substance abuse services available to county residents


A large portion of Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners was spent listening to a presentation by Jennifer Jackson from Heartland Counseling.

Heartland Counseling is a Region 4 provider, which in total consists of 22 counties. Heartland covers 11 of those 22 in Region 4. The company provides mental health and substance abuse services to people of all ages, with and without insurance.

Jackson discussed how Heartland is funded by state and federal block grants along with Medicare, Medicaid and private funds.

Of their $1.5 million budget, $1 million comes from Region 4 funding with the rest coming from the other sources she mentioned.

Jackson went over the numerous services available to those who live in Wayne county, from substance abuse evaluations and prevention classes to therapy, Life Center access, crisis response program and transportation to and from appointments just to name a few.

Thanks to a grant, Heartland Counseling will be adding a youth crisis responder to their services starting in April. 

Through these services, a number of people have been able to stay out of jail or the hospital when, in most cases, neither of those is the right place to recover from a drug addiction or mental health lapse. 

Jackson met with the commissioners simply to discuss services and remind everyone that Heartland was available to utilize, with offices in South Sioux City, O'Neill, Ainsworth and Valentine. 

Also on the agenda for the commissioners was receiving and awarding bids for two projects. 

The first of those is a paving project around the courthouse. Several areas of concrete need to be replaced.

Otte Construction bid a total of $102,200 for the five areas and was awarded the project. 

The second project was for fencing to encompass the shop complex in Wayne for District #1's equipment. 

Three bids were received but Elkhorn Fence of Valley was awarded the contract. Their $24,745 bid included 1,610 linear feet of chain link fencing with 3-strand barbed wire topping the fence. Also in the bid was concreted posts, but not aluminum gating, which will be negotiated upon at a later date.

Highway Superintended Mark Casey gave a brief update on several bridge and road projects throughout the county including the reading of results for the road study of 573 Ave between 853 Ave and South Logan Creek. After reading those results, a public hearing was set for April 18 at 9:30 a.m. in order to hear any concerns about vacating that portion of road. 

After some discussion on a county road agreement for the incoming wind energy farms, commissioners recessed the meeting in order to research agreements that other counties such as Holt and Custer hold with their wind energy farms. 

Items such as a driveway policy, road haul policy and a decommission policy are all to be looked at as are the state and federal guidelines for setbacks from residences to ensure these are being met accordingly. 

Because the topic requires more research before decisions can be made, the commissioners decided to recess and reconvene on Monday at 9 a.m.

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
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Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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