Cherry Hill Council passed several resolutions at its Dec. 20 meeting, including one to participate in the National Opioid Settlement, which allows towns with populations above 10,000 to receive up to $1.04 million, depending on the number of municipalities that participate.
“If all of the towns in New Jersey that fit that qualification (participate), then that’s the number we’ll receive,” explained Solicitor Howard Long during caucus. “There’s really an ongoing effort for everyone over 10,000 to participate, because if they do, New Jersey receives the maximum funds available under this settlement.
“… This will be paid out over a number of years and it will be dedicated with conditions strictly to be used to address the opioid crisis we now face.”
The opioid settlement case was decided against manufacturers and distributors of the drugs by 21 attorneys general around the country. As part of the settlement, the distributors/manufacturers will also be required to change the way they do business. As of deadline, a timeline for distribution of funds had yet to be determined.
“One hundred thousand deaths took place this year from overdoses on opioids,” councilwoman Michele Galkow reflected. “… If someone is out there having a problem or is struggling with substance abuse, there’s a 24/7 hotline, (877) 266-8222, so help is available if you are dealing with a problem with addiction.”
Council also passed a resolution to give the township board of education a portion of funding for a Restorative Practices Program that would teach self-reflection practices designed to change behaviors in students at risk of entering the criminal-justice system.
During her comments, Mayor Susan Shin Angulo acknowledged the rising number of COVID cases in the area.
“I know this pandemic has taken a toll on so many of us, and how disheartening it is to see a rise in cases and many cancelled holiday events once again, but now is not the time to give up,” she said.
“There are many steps you can take to keep your loved ones and yourself safe,” the mayor added. “Most importantly, please get vaccinated and if you’re fully vaccinated, make sure you’re getting your booster.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Apell encouraged people to get tested as well and noted that the state is giving away free COVID tests.
“I don’t know if there’s a limit on how many you can get, but that’s a good place to start since rapid/covid tests are difficult to get right now,” she said.
Apell also noted that council is moving forward with its analysis of cannabis and will share in the new year.
In other news;
- Six officers have been reappointed for Class 1 Special Class Law ENforcement Officers, something done annually
- The township approved a contract with the Voorhees Animal Orphanage to take in upto 420 animals per year as needed.
- Councilwoman Carole Roskoph announced that Cherry Hill West will perform the Broadway musical “Cinderella” on Jan. 7, 8 and 9, at 7 p.m. on the 7th and 8th and at 2 p.m. on the 8th and 9th. Tickets are available at https://chwtheater.wordpress.com/2021/12/07/cinderella-opens-in-january/
The next council meeting will be a reorganization session on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.