County addresses prescription cards, logging legislation

Published 10:56 am Thursday, October 25, 2012

A discount drug card program may be coming to Crenshaw County, pending final approval by the County Commission.

The commission heard from Ron Howard with the Coast 2Coast Drug Discount program.

Howard said that the company is partnered with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, and that 36 counties have launched the program in the last 12 months.

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“We want to drive business into the pharmacy and keep it local so you can get tax revenue,” he said.

The discount card works like a coupon and helps create a discount for medications.

Howard said that all major chains are under contract and that all four pharmacies in Crenshaw County are participants in the program.

Howard explained that Coast2Coast and its partners, like Welldyne, a benefit management company, have negotiated a discount with drug companies, much like insurance companies do.

“You may have insurance, but a drug may be excluded or non-preferred,” he said.

Howard said that there is no qualifying, no applications and no one gets turned down.

The county would also receive $1 for prescription filled in the county.

Commissioners voted to adopt the card and begin its implementation soon, pending approval from county attorney Levi Nichols, who will review the agreement before it is executed.

In other business, County Engineer Benjie Sanders discussed the proposed logging legislation with the commission.

Sanders said he hoped the commission would adopt the legislation and make it effective on Dec. 1.

“We could try to use November to get the word out and December to get the process in place,” he said.

The proposed legislation would require a logging company to submit a form to the county so that the county could review the proposed logging site for safety or drainage problems.

Sanders said in the past that such a measure would also improve road maintenance in logging areas.

The legislation would not require any fees or bonds, and if the county didn’t review the site within a set period of time, logging operations could continue.

Commissioner Chris West said that he had been approached by several logging companies that were concerned about the legislation.

“There are folks that want to meet with us about this,” he said. “I’d like to wait until the next meeting.”

The commission was also sent a letter by the Alabama Forestry Association that voiced concerns about the legislation, including their view that it requires loggers from starting operations until the county consents and thus turns a notice into a permit.

“I think the problem is there’s a misunderstanding,” said Nichols, who said that the proposed legislation addresses many of those issues.

“It’s going to be a significant help in our dirt road maintenance,” said Sanders. “But the last thing I want is an adversarial relationship with the logging community. We don’t want to hinder their operations.”

A motion was passed to accept the legislation pending a meeting between Sanders, Commission Chairman Ricky McElwain and local timber buyers to discuss the issue and resolve any concerns.

If the issue is not resolved, the matter will be brought up again at the next meeting.

The commission also learned that a proposed grant for a boat ramp on the Patsaliga River had been denied by ADECA.

The issue was discussed during the summer, when the commission applied for funds to construct a boat ramp on Highway 106 at the Patsaliga River.

A number of citizens turned out at the time to voice their opinions for or against the ramp, and the commission voted to continue pursuing the grant money, which was recently denied by ADECA.

Sanders also says that the deadline for social security exemptions for garbage collections is Oct. 31, which means that anyone who wishes to sign up for this exemption must have their form turned in to the county no later than Oct. 31 with no exceptions.

Any questions should be directed to Jennifer McDougald, Solid Waste Enforcement Officer, at 335-6946.

The commission will not meet for their next regularly scheduled day meeting, which would be held on Nov. 12, Veterans’ Day.

Should an emergency arise, notice of a meeting will be posted.