[Courtesy: The Lebanon Reporter]

The Lebanon City Council pledged more than $39,000 to a countywide effort to bring two men’s recovery houses and a myriad of mental health resources to Boone County.

The $39,332.72 represents the entire restricted opioid settlement funds the city will receive as part of a $26 billion national settlement with three pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

Restricted funds must be used for saving lives, such as alcohol and drug addiction treatment and prevention programs. And the money will come to Lebanon in small increments through 2028. But the money Lebanon and other Boone County towns can receive could be multiplied if they pool resources as matching money pledged in a bid for a state grant of $1.4 million.

Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry was absent but sent a message through Clerk Treasurer Tonya Thayer that pooling the settlement money with other Boone County contributors is the best answer for how to use it.

“The money we would get annually is so small that we really couldn’t do anything effectively with it, really,” Council President Mike Kincaid said.

The Boone County Council and Commissioners agreed in late February with a grant proposal presented by Boone County Community Corrections Executive Director Michael Nance. And Lebanon city leaders wrote a letter of support, along with Zionsville and Whitestown leaders.

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