The Grays Harbor County Commissioners voted this week to end the county’s syringe exchange program, effective June 30th.
Commissioner Vickie Raines said during their meeting, “There is current discussions with the Grays Harbor County Health Director to cease the program through the county. But I believe that some time needs to be done to provide some proper education and look for whether or not another outside agency wants to continue it whether it be a medical clinic or something that the state wants to take over. Regardless, the program would certainly end by June 30th.”
Commissioner Wes Cormier added that if someone did take it over he didn’t want to see the county contribute funds. Commissioner Randy Ross wanted to make sure the county stayed in the loop. Ross proposed two status meetings before the deadline, but that idea was scrapped.
Raines said the county has been talking with other agencies for a while about the idea, she explained as she read the first part of the resolution, “Believes that the operation of the syringe exchange in Grays Harbor County is not an appropriate use of tax money. We can look for other opportunities or end it, but why would we host meetings on how someone else is going to take over a program?”
Votes from Commissioners Raines and Cormier adopted the resolution, Commissioner Ross voted against. Raines said the county has just over 6 months to continue the conversation of transitioning away from the current county-funded model.