Bids to replace the roof and stabilize heating and cooling units at the former Golden Acres Nursing Home are being accepted following a Sept. 26 vote by Lorain County commissioners.
The site at North Ridge and Leavitt roads has been tabbed as the future home of Recovery One, an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center.
Bids for the heating and cooling work will be opened at 2 p.m. Oct. 30.
County administrator James Cordes said the building’s HVAC units are still functional, but since they have to be removed in order to replace the roof, it might become more practical to install brand new units.
“We’ve been patching the roof for a few years now,” he said. “Going forward, this new work has to be done or we’ll let the building decay, collapse, and eventually somebody will come in and demo it. Green Acres was a classic example of people not doing their job, a perfectly fine building and a very nice building that sat for 15 years and had to be demoed.”
“The HVAC units still work but they’re past their life expectancy,” he said. “Sometimes you get a few more years but they need to be lifted off no matter what we do. Do we lift the old and just try and put them back?”
A 0.30-mill levy to raise funds for Recovery One has been placed on the November ballot.
Lorain County commissioners say that, if backed by voters, it will raise $2 million and cost homeowners $10.50 per $100,000 of property valuation annually.
Cordes said the Lorain County Police Chiefs Association has agreed to support the levy.
The renovation is expected to cost roughly $850,000, though that number has been disputed by some close to the project. This past spring, $500,000 in state aid for the project was approved and $200,000 in local funds have also been made available.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, prescription opioid-related overdose deaths are at an eight-year low and heroin-related overdose deaths are at a four-year low across the state.
Overdose deaths also declined by 23 percent over the second half of 2017, the health department says.
Even though deaths are down, instances of overdoses remain steady, said county commissioner Matt Lundy.
“The numbers continue to be alarming,” Lundy said. “The latest research here in Lorain County shows at least 35,000 residents at any one time misusing or abusing opioids. That’s about an 11.5 percent rate compared to a national rate of 4.4 percent. We’re more than double the national rate.”
Lundy said 74 infants since June 1 have been born in Lorain County predisposed to drugs or alcohol.
Commissioner Lori Kokosky said getting Recovery One up and running is necessary to close gaps in Lorain County’s response to addiction, such as the need for police-led recovery efforts like Wellington’s LINC program to take clients out of the area to receive treatment.
“The symptoms of withdrawal are what keep addicts inside the hamster wheel of looking for the next fix,” she said. “It’s a sickness. There’s lots of gaps and it’s not a partisan issue. Everyone down in Columbus that said yes to this is on the other side of the aisle. They see the need and are supporting this initiative.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.