First Federal Bank in Genoa has donated $250 to help the village police set up a drop off station for outdated prescription drugs.
Police Chief Bob Bratton confirmed the donation amount Friday, noting the cash will go toward the village’s share for the $650 box that will be mounted in the administration office lobby.
The other portion of the cost will be covered by a grant from the Ottawa-Sandusky-Seneca Solid Waste Management District. The lock box will be made of recycled materials.
“The grant is already approved,” Bratton said. “We were just waiting to see if we could find a donation for our share.”
Residents will be able to drop off old drugs essentially any time of the year. The box is available to the public during regular administration hours. After hours, the person can walk next door to the police station to call an officer to pick up the meds, Bratton said.
The box will be checked daily and the medications will be turned over the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office for disposal.
Bratton approached village council in June about the project.
Village Administrator Kevin Gladden said there had been discussion about the village tossing in up to $250 if Bratton had been unable to find donations.
The desire for the box grew out of an annual drop-off program – called Ottawa County Take Back Medications Collection - coordinated by the OSS District and local law enforcement. Items accepted include prescription meds, liquid medications, inhalers, over-the-counter medications, over the counter ointment/lotions, narcotics (controlled substances), medication samples and vitamins. No needles are taken. There is a separate collection for needles.
The goal is to keep expired or unused prescription drugs out of circulation.
That is because the Drug Enforcement Agency says surveys show that more people in the United States abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined.
When people dispose of unused prescriptions, they often flush them. That can send unwanted medicines into the water supply. The pills collected in these events are often incinerated, officials say.
The last collection took place in the county in April. But people have been calling for assistance since then, Bratton said.
“This is something the people wanted,” Bratton said. “They no sooner drop off the pills and ask when will the next collection be.”
Lots of circumstances can lead to someone needing to dispose of old meds. It just isn’t people cleaning out their own medicine cabinets, he explained. People caring for their elderly parents who have died or sometimes people find old prescriptions when they move into a new place.
Police and others want to prevent the old drugs from getting into the hands of others or the garbage, the chief added.
Bratton said OSS staff member Amy Drummer coordinated the grant process for the village. He said the OSS is looking at the possibility of offering funding for other drop boxes across the county.
Drummer could not be reached for comment.
Block Watch meeting
Ottawa County Juvenile/Probate Court Judge Kathleen Giesler will speak at the Aug. 2 meeting of the Genoa Block Watch program.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the fire station located across from the village administration building.
The program was under taken by Police Chief Bob Bratton in his first year of service.
Giesler is the first woman to be elected to judicial office in Ottawa County. Prior to her election in 2002, she served as magistrate of the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, General Division, for 12 years. She is also active in numerous professional and community organizations.