Meth Becomes Costly Problem for Henry Co. Authorities

Henry Co., VA - In just a few months, Sheriff Lane Perry has had to come up to speed with the latest trends in meth.

Staying on top of the drug is one thing, but he says the aftermath is a big problem as well.

"When they're making it, you have the toxic fumes created, but then they also leave an oil and residue left after the drugs are made, " Perry said.

Cleaning that residue at the five labs they've recently found has cost a total of $12,000.
Perry says tax-payers shouldn't be burdened with paying for crime clean-up.
"I'd say in the near future, we're going to have a better understanding on how we deal with it, " said Henry County Supervisor Joe Bryant.
Bryant and others have been working with the sheriff.
Bryant hopes to see a system in place where the offender or property owner is held responsible for the costs after conviction, but he also wants to see officials in Richmond pitch in on what has become a statewide issue.
"I feel that the state has an obligation to help the counties try to clean this up also, " Bryant said.
Perry says since most of the labs have been in rental properties, he's asking property owners to do routine inspections and look for clues of meth use, and he says parents should talk to their kids, so this growing trend doesn't spiral out of control.
"If they see these things and see liter fluid, Drain-o, lye, lithium batteries torn aware of what's going on, who's coming in and out, because it's a costly problem, " Perry said.
There are additional costs after clean-up, that are required for making a home safe for future use, that exceed tens of thousands of dollars.

Bryant hopes this issue will come up at their next Supervisors meeting in July.