'What a difference a year makes'

Zoe Greszler • Nov 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM

WILLARD — Willard seems to finally be making some headway on its war on drugs. 

At Monday’s city council meeting, city manager Jim Ludban said the safety-services department saw just a fraction of the number of overdose cases requiring Narcan, compared to 2017. Narcan is the brand name for a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdoses.

“Last year in October I had to come to you and tell you we had to use like 165 doses of Narcan on like 18 people,” Ludban said. “What a difference a year makes.”

Throughout last month, first responders only had to respond to issue Narcan to one patient, he added. This is a continuation of what the city manager called last month “a continuation of the favorable, downward trend” seen regarding the city’s drug activity.

“We’re feeling pretty good about that,” he said. 

Ludban also told council about the safety-services department’s safety measures over Halloween.

“I just want to express my appreciation to the police and safety services because I personally witnessed them out on trick-or-treat night, throughout the city,” said Councilman Josh Gerber, who missed the event in years past from needing to work. “I saw them all over (the city) when kids were trick-or-treating. I think it helps, just having their presence.”

Ludban said both police and the fire department/EMS took time to hand out treats and “ensure a safe environment in our community for everyone.”

No incidents were reported throughout Willard during the festivities. 

Council also heard that city finance director Sue Johnson received recognition from state auditor Dave Yost, commending Willard on Johnson’s “superior fiscal responsibility” and hard work in securing five years of clean audit reports.

Ludban said the city is proud of her efforts, a sentiment councilwoman Diane Olsen echoed.

“I wanted to commend Sue and her team on their proclamation,” Olsen said. “That’s really very, very good.”

In other news, the city accepted $1,000 to Clocktower Project donations from six various sources.

Another $3,453.78 was donated to the Military Memorial Fund, all but $200 of which came from the Willard Firelands Moose No. 2153. The Moose also donated $1,627.16 toward the police taser replacement project.

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