Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved the town’s share of a settlement from the “Sullivan Baby Doe” opioid lawsuit — a sum that will total less than six-figures.
Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said the town will receive “less than $100,000” as part of the settlement, which is allocated to plaintiff counties and municipalities based on population.
“We’re just hopeful that it makes a difference for those addicted to those opioids,” Vest said. “If we can put it to work to kind of benefit that program, something drug related, that would be a plus for us.”
The Kingsport Times News reported in July that attorneys representing local governments and Baby Doe, a child born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, had reached a $35 million settlement with opioid manufacturers Endo Health Solutions and Endo Pharmaceuticals.
Following the deduction of Baby Doe’s damages and the plaintiffs’ attorney fees, $21 million would be split between the cities and counties involved in the lawsuit, which includes both Jonesborough and Washington County, among others. There are no restrictions on how the money can be used.
Jonesborough, at the behest of 1st Judicial District Attorney General Ken Baldwin, voted to join the lawsuit in April, as has nearly every area county commission, municipality and town government.
Jonesborough enters inter-local agreement with county for water service
The board also approved an inter-local agreement with Washington County for a waterline extension project that aims to extend water service within the unincorporated areas of the county.
The project will be funded by the county, though a special work crew will need to be hired by the town, with those workers becoming town employees. The county’s Budget Committee sent a resolution to the County Commission seeking $425,000 to designate for the crew’s salaries, uniforms and small equipment. A vote is expected on Sept. 27.
Commissioners voted on June 28 to move ahead with 15 water projects in rural communities, projects that will take about four years to complete and cost nearly $8 million. The following Jonesborough projects are included:
Greenwood Drive (East and West).
Dry Creek Road.
Portions of Tenn. Highway 81 South.
Ralph Hoss Road.
Malone Hollow Road.
Bill Cox Road.
The eastern portion of Saylor Hill Road.