Pubdate: Tue, 02 Aug 2005
Source: Messenger-Inquirer (KY)
Copyright: 2005 Messenger-Inquirer
Bookmark: (Treatment)


It is the lot, duty really, of elected officials to worry about money. It 
is called being fiscally responsible. But it is also their responsibility 
to weigh the risks and be willing to say yes to worthy projects.

A $4.38 million Recovery Kentucky substance abuse treatment center is one 
such worthy project for the Owensboro-Daviess County community. The 
facility will require Daviess Fiscal Court to allocate $200,000 from its 
"wellness fund" account to match a Community Development Block Grant of 
$831,000. The Kentucky Housing Corp. will contribute $1.13 million to the 

Lighthouse Recovery is the local agency applying to operate what will 
essentially be a state facility intended to help people with substance 
issues who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. Gov. Ernie 
Fletcher has called for 10 of the facilities to be built around the state.

The state will provide operating funds for the facilities. Or will it?

A little more than a week ago, Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire 
expressed fears about future funding of the center, wondering if funding 
would fall to the county should state support dry up. Haire took particular 
note of the state Department of Corrections' promised major support role in 
the project, pointedly reminding everyone that the Department of 
Corrections once promised that juvenile inmates would continue to be housed 
in Daviess County and also reviewed the plans for the Daviess County 
Detention Center.

Juveniles were removed from the detention center in 2001, at great expense 
to the county, and the jail has now been found to possibly be out of 
compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Just a few days later, however, Haire's ire had apparently dissipated and 
he predicted that Fiscal Court would support the project, despite 
reservations. "The need for a facility outweighs the misgivings that I 
have," he said. "Any progress, there is a certain amount of risk."

That is the kind of response needed if this community is to have another 
tool in the struggle against substance abuse. Counties rely on state 
government for many things, and funding reductions are always a 
possibility. But that is not enough of a reason to turn down what could 
prove very valuable to hundreds of people who need help in the worst way.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom