Troup using opioid settlement for electric vehicle

Published 10:00 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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Troup County is using a portion of the funds received from the national opioid settlement for an electric vehicle for Troup County Accountability Courts.

During the Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Court Services Director Lindsay Mobley said the county was informed late last year that they would be receiving funds from the settlement against pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. So far, the county has received about $133,000 from the settlements related to the opioid crisis.

“The money does come with certain provisions on how we can use it. Specifically, it has to be geared toward the opioid epidemic in this country. Fortunately, we have four accountability courts here in Troup County that do help to address that particular issue with our participants,” Mobley said.

Mobley said the different courts decided the best use of the initial funds would be to purchase a vehicle to transport accountability court participants to and from court-ordered activities such as drug screens, treatment groups and court appearances.

County Manager Eric Mosley recommended the purchase of a KIA EV6 electric vehicle, which could take advantage of the two charging stations at the courthouse.

Mobley said they plan to have at least two drivers on call to take accountability court participants where they need to be for the program.

The courts currently use Troup Transit to transport participants but occasionally they utilize taxi cabs.

“Most months we are giving up to about 250 rides through our agreement with Troup Transit. However, with our own vehicle we can increase that for our participants,” Mobley said.

Mosley said the vehicle, which will cost $41,000, will be the first electric vehicle in the county’s fleet.

“We are often transporting in a very large bus or van with very few clients,” Mosley said. “Troup Transit works is similar to a taxi service, so ultimately having a smaller vehicle that obviously doesn’t have any fuel requirements certainly could reduce the overall costs from it for maintaining that vehicle.”

Mobley added that Troup Transit has limited hours and their participants often need evening rides for meetings up to 7:30 p.m.

“We really can’t get much transportation needs met after about 3 p.m. So, this will help us expand our services,” she said.

The commissioners unanimously approved using the settlement funds for the purchase of the electric vehicle.

Mobley said they are considering using the remaining funds for training specifically geared toward the opioid pandemic, raising community awareness of the problem through media and possibly providing Narcan to law enforcement as needed.

Mosley said there will be additional funds coming in as the settlement continues.

“Last week, we were talking about it and then the next day we noticed that we received $6,000 from Walgreens, and just it’s just kind of unpredictable,” Mosley said.