WAUKESHA — A new Waukesha County-sponsored treatment center for chemically dependent men and women and a separate initiative to fight opioid use in the City of Pewaukee were approved Tuesday by the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors.
A $1.2 million collaboration between Waukesha County and Lutheran Social Services was struck to provide long-term, medical treatment at a rehabilitation center known as a residential care facility.
The measure means local women will no longer need to seek in-patient addiction treatment outside of Waukesha County, according to officials from the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services.
The Waukesha County Board of Supervisors advanced the center by approving $335,000 in financing for startup costs, which includes remodeling a Lutheran Social Services building on Bluemound Road, west of Springdale Road, into a 22-bed facility.
The $335,000 is expected to be recovered from revenue generated by the center.
Lutheran Social Services, a not-for-profit agency, runs other county human service programs, such as older adult services, housing and homelessness.
The facility will be available to both genders seeking medically monitored treatment or less restrictive transitional care for chemical dependency. Men and women will have separate entrances, dining and living areas.
The county wants the center operational before the end of the year. Clients will be referred from courts and hospitals. Patients can also check themselves in.
In other action, the board made a new weapon available in the fight to curb the opioid epidemic in Waukesha County and specifically the City of Pewaukee.
The board approved a plan for the City of Pewaukee to finance a new member of the Waukesha County Metro Drug Enforcement Unit. The plan calls for the city to pay about $140,000 annually for the new position, which includes the costs of salary, equipment and mileage.
The new position will develop opioid investigations in the city and the greater Waukesha County area.
The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, which operates the Metro Drug Unit, put the initiative together at the request of the City of Pewaukee Common Council in an effort to “allocate resources to proactively address opioids,” according to text within the approved ordinance.
County Supervisor Chuck Wood praised city officials for funding a new member of the drug unit.
“This is a celebratory ordinance, at least in my mind, for the City of Pewaukee showing great leadership,” Wood told his fellow supervisors. “Their leaders saw the problem of opioid use.”
The Drug Unit consists of law enforcement officers from a number of Waukesha County communities. The sheriff’s department already has a contract with the city to provide police services, and that agreement will expire at the end of the year, although the city has indicated it likely will renew the contract, according to the ordinance.
The new ordinance is an amendment to the current agreement and includes language for a new sheriff’s deputy position slated to start June 1 on the Metro Drug Unit.