WELLSVILLE - One group's efforts at halting the scourge of drug abuse in Wellsville could result in a rock concert at Hammond Park by month's end.
Barbara Recek from Enough Is Enough, which staged their second march and rally in the village on Aug. 29, requested permission to stage a concert sponsored by the Rockers in Recovery group at Wellsville Council's regular meeting Tuesday evening. In recognition of September as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, she asked for Sept. 28 to hold the concert.
Recek said she has already been in contact with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for help with the cost of staging the concert, including promotion of the event and the costs of the musicians' fees, airfare and accommodations. Enough Is Enough has also reached out to the Recovery Center and the Columbiana County Health Department for assistance.
In addition to raising awareness of the group's aims, Recek says the event would serve as a fundraiser for its outreach efforts to send addicts who want assistance to addiction recovery centers, such as Oxford House in Salem. According to Recek, EIE presently is sponsoring two people in long-term treatment for addiction. "It's making a difference. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's starting to work," she said.
Recek told council that once a person returns from counseling or brief treatment to the same atmosphere and group of acquaintances, they are highly susceptible to fall back into substance abuse. "We have had people who wanted to get clean, and got clean, came back home, and got right back into it again," she said. Getting away from that environment for several weeks is a necessity, she asserted. "It only takes seven days to cleanse the body. It takes much longer to reroute the mind," she said.
Dinch told Recek that Hammond Park is prohibited by its charter from staging events where an admission fee is charged to attendees. Instead, she recommended that tickets to the concert be given in exchange for a donation to the group. When Dinch asked if Recek had consulted Wellsville High School for use of Nicholson Stadium, Recek said school administrators rejected the idea immediately. "They said, 'We will not even consider it,'" she said.
Village administrator Thom Edgell argued that public restroom facilities at the park are not adequate to handle the crowd at such an event. Dinch countered that portable toilets could be rented for the day at an acceptable cost. He offered that semi trailers with full washroom facilities might be utilized and said he would look into it.
Councilman Tony Cataldo told Recek that council supports the idea, but she needs to get in touch with the office of Mayor Susan Haugh, who was absent from the meeting, for reservation information, as well as contact the park board and Wellsville Police Chief Joe Scarabino for security. She replied that she would do so.
In other business, council:
* Approved the closing of Riverside Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets for the Wellsville Elks' Chili and Soup Cook-Off, from 1 p.m. to midnight on Sept. 28, as well as the closure of Main Street in front of village hall for the annual Dash for Mat's Bash, which will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 5.
* Approved payment of $3,948 to Allison Contracting for flood repairs to the basement of village hall.
* Approved acquisition of dilapidated structures at 1201 Commerce St. and 418 Main St., which were not sold following two appearances at auction. According to Cataldo, they will be bought for tax fees of approximately $1,200 each and will be torn down.
The next meeting of village council is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Sept. 17 at village hall.