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Council works to help area seniors

Senior citizens of Butler County may soon find some relief in paying expensive presciption bills through a new program that is being established by the City of Greenville.

At Monday night's regular meeting of the Greenville City Council, Mayor Dexter McLendon introduced the new program that is a part of the South Central Alabama Development Commission.

"About two years ago, Rep. Charles Newton told me about a program in north Alabama where senior citizens that were over 60 years old could receive their medication free through drug companies," said McLendon. "A lot of senior citizens can barely pay their electricity bill because of the cost of their presciption drugs."

The program would help senior citizens who take medication on a regular basis cut down on medical expenses by receiving a limited supply of the prescription via drug companies.

"If a person has a certain medication that they must buy on a regular basis, they can get a prescription from the doctor, submit it to the commission's nurse, and if it qualifies through the drug companies, the person can receive up to 90 days of that prescription for free," said McLendon. "This is a really great program."

However, to have the program implemented in Butler, Lowndes and Montgomery counties, the South Central Alabama Development Commission would need help from the City of Greenville to help with the paperwork.

"This program requires a lot of paperwork. The commission has hired a nurse that will help administer the program, but what they need is for us to help with the administrative part of the program," said McLendon.

Although South Central Alabama Development Commission will pay for the entire program, a part-time administrative position would be added to the City of Greenville payroll to help the nurse with the paperwork. The commission would then reimburse the City of Greenville for the salary of the assistant.

"They have set up the contract and I am just asking that we be able to administer the program for South Central Alabama Development Commission. We are doing this for several other programs and I think this is a major benefit for our senior citizens," said McLendon.

The council unanimously approved the resolution.

In other news, McLendon also gave an update on the ADECA Recreational Trails Grant.

"This was a grant that we had been working on for some time, and due to the terrain and the location of where we wanted to put the walking trails, the money we had discussed just wasn't' enough," said McLendon. "Phillip Herring and I talked to ADECA and we felt that we would be better off if we let this money go back and work on a project where we had a little more money," said McLendon.

McLendon also gave an update on the installation of the street light next to the Depot. "Everyone keeps saying that we need a light there by the Depot. The good news is that we have ordered the poles, but the bad news is that it will take 16 – 18 weeks before we receive them."

Additionally, the council also voted to match a donation of $2,500 given by the Sasanqua Garden Club to be used for Christmas decorations for the city. "The garden club has raised money for the city on several occasions and has bought things for Confederate Park. This year, we received a lot of compliments on the Christmas decorations around the city and the garden club has offered to donate $2,500 to the city for decorations if we can match their donation," said City Horticulturist Jennifer Stringer. "Right now is a good time to purchase Christmas decorations because the closer to Christmas, the more expensive they get."

The council approved the match.

The council also approved a request by the mayor to complete the Dunbar gymnasium kitchen facilities which would require no more than $5,000 to complete the cabinets, flooring, light fixtures and to move the water heater.

Also, at Monday's meeting, the council:

awarded the bid for Day Park III athletic field lighting to Quality Lighting Company;

authorized bids to be let for fencing and installation of athletic field lighting at Day Park III;

authorized bids to be let for the recreation department athletic equipment, accessories and athletic t-shirts;

ratified and approved change order number one to Newell Roadbuilders, Inc. for the Airport Road relocation project;

authorized the mayor to enter into a contract with Watson's Animal Clinic for euthanization and disposal of abandoned animals housed at Greenville Animal Shelter;

authorized a quitclaim deed for Lot 15, Block 37 of the W.P. Dejarnette survey and non-exclusive easement for Lots 12, 13 and 14 to Robert M. "Bob" Waller;

approved an expenditure in the amount of $1,350 to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center for the quarterly terminal rent for the police department.