WASHINGTON TERRACE -- The cities feeding into Bonneville High School are being asked to be the first in Weber County to implement a Communities That Care program aimed at preventing substance abuse.
Paula Price, prevention coordinator for Weber and Morgan human services, said she has approached several cities about the program but has been unable to get any of them to commit money toward the $10,000 it takes to start the program. She hopes to have more success by asking cities that share a school to come together and split the cost.
Price said Tooele and Brigham City have Communities That Care programs with a coalition of elected officials, school representatives, law enforcement officials and community members who look at substance abuse risk factors and create and implement a plan to address those factors.
"Bonneville has four cities, but all the youth end up at Bonneville. Individual cities may have unique issues, but all the kids end up together. This will help identify issues and strategies and get all of the key leaders on the same page, speaking the same language, with coordination among agencies looking at youth services," she said.
Price said because Brigham City has a coalition in place with strong data, it secured $125,000 a year for five years from a federal grant. She said grant money can be used in a variety of ways, including educating parents, beefing up after-school programs or increasing compliance checks for underage alcohol purchases.
Price said if Washington Terrace, Riverdale, South Ogden and Uintah can collectively come up with $10,000, the state will match that amount and her agency will add funds to hire a coordinator and get the program started.
Washington Terrace City Councilwoman Mary Johnston said she supports the program and thinks the matching funds or federal grants could be used to reimburse the city's initial investment.
"Bonneville was the first to drug test for extracurricular. They are prime to pick this up and impact the youth," she said.
"We could trigger some things for youth that would be phenomenal. We could be proud we're on board. A lot of kids are at high risk. There are a lot of kids in trouble."
Washington Terrace City Councilman Scott Monsen said he is not convinced it is wise to spend $10,000 for the project.
"I would like to do more study," he said, "We need to look at where we're at and what we're already doing. I'm not sure I'm in favor of putting out $10,000 to do something we're already doing. I'm a long ways from a final decision here."
Price said she has invited representatives from each of the cities sending students to Bonneville to attend a summit about community-based prevention on Sept. 23 and 24 and would like to know whether they are on board by mid-October.