Veterans Treatment Court approved by commissioners

Randolph County Commissioners

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners, during their meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, approved the Veterans Treatment Court Project and revisited funding for opioid crisis assistance, among other budgetary matters.

Sheriff Greg Seabolt highlighted the need for the Veterans Treatment Court Project, noting the growing mental health issues among the county’s estimated 10,000 veterans. The program is tailored for military veterans and service members who have run afoul of the law due to substance use, mental health disorders, or trauma, offering them an alternative to incarceration.

The Veterans Treatment Court is structured as a five-phase, 16-24 month program that provides participants with access to resources and treatments tailored to their needs. The process for eligible veterans includes referrals, screenings for criminal and military history, assessments of substance abuse, mental health, and housing needs, followed by a comprehensive case management plan. Participants will be required to make bi-weekly court appearances, meet with coordinators, and submit to random urine drug screens.

“This program will give veterans the opportunity to get treatment, restore their lives and get back to where they needed to be initially,” Seabolt said. The initiative is supported by a $851,633 grant from the 2023 Department of Justice Assistance for Veteran Treatment Court Planning and Implementation, covering the program for three years without additional county funding.

In other business, the commissioners approved amendments to the Waste Management Franchise Ordinance Agreement, expanding the landfill property coverage and updating the number of county-owned convenience centers. They also extended the landfill’s projected lifespan based on full site usage.

The board accepted a $596,851 grant from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund for equipment at the Farm, Food and Family Education Center. Kenny Sherin, Cooperative Extension Director, explained that the funds are allocated annually by the NC General Assembly.

Additionally, a $530,000 bid was approved for the construction of the Sandy Creek Pedestrian Bridge, which will enhance the Deep River Trail by connecting the communities of Franklinville and Ramseur.

In a reversal from a previous stance, Chairman Darrell Frye changed his vote to approve $50,000 in opioid settlement funding for Keaton’s Place, which had been initially rejected in July. Frye noted that it was his prerogative to bring the issue back to the table and change his vote.

The next meeting of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners is set for Dec. 4.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal