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Yates approves discount drug program

PENN YAN—Lowering the cost of prescription drugs was addressed by Yates County legislators at the Aug. 9 meeting. Legislators authorized an agreement with ProAct, Inc., a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs, Inc., to endorse the establishment of a county discount prescription drug card program through ProAct, Inc. The program will provide a discount prescription drug card at no cost to the county or its residents. It will be available to any county resident and could be used at any pharmacy, The program may enhance the prescription plans of families and individuals who have prescription drug program, but will mainly serve those who have limited prescription coverage or none.
On Aug. 10, ProAct account executive Erison Rodriguez spoke about the program. He said the program is designed to assist the underinsured or non insured individual but anyone who has to pay full price for a prescription could use the card. There are no qualifications and no enrollment required. Cards will be mailed automatically to all addresses in Yates County after discussions with Yates County take place about timing of the mailing. Rodriguez was asked why the company sponsors the program. He said it establishes a relationship with counties, creating a first step in the event a county eventually decides to become self insured.
Independent pharmacies will be offered the opportunity to join the ProAct pharmacy network. Tracey Knapp, owner of Water Street Pharmacy in Dundee, was contacted by The Observer about the program. Knapp said she is not familiar with it, but the program appears similar to other discount programs. She said her pharmacy currently offers a $4 charge on many prescription drugs. That program could be more economical than the new plan depending on the drug that was prescribed;  however, Knapp said she would accept the ProAct card.
Details will be available through the Yates County public health office later this month at 315-536-5160.
In other business:
• Social Services Commissioner Nancy Gates spoke to legislators about the Medicaid and Food Stamp programs. Gates told the group there has been a 17 percent jump in the number of Medicaid cases in Yates County over a five year period. In 2006 there were 2,135 cases and by June of this year, the department listed 2,512 cases. A cap was put in place in 2005 which held increases to 3.75 percent. She said, “The real kicker is all the services New York State covers.”
Eleven percent of Yates County’s population receives food stamps and the number of cases is rising. Gates said the number of individuals using food stamps has gone up by about one third since 2006.
• Legislators honored three county employees for their meritorious service June 9.
• Appropriated $20,000 from the Occupancy Tax Reserve Funds for the site feasibility plan for the Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum. Following the meeting, County Administrator Sarah Purdy said it does not actually pay for the work, but just places it in the budget. During the public comment portion of the meeting, property owner Gary Montgomery outlined his opposition to the museum.
• A new driveway installation and replacement policy was approved. The revision was made necessary due to numerous driveway installation requests and increasing costs to the county.
• Authorized the chairman to execute federal grant agreement for financial assistance to construct a snow removal equipment storage building at the Penn Yan-Yates County Airport. The total project cost would be $456,300 and the county’s 2.5 percent share would be $11,408. Purdy said the building is needed to release space in the hangar where the equipment has been stored so that the space can be rented out.
• Authorized the chairman to apply for funding for replacement of the Fox Mill Road bridge. Costs would be apportioned at the ratio of 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent non-federal funds. A commitment of 100 percent of the non-federal share was made to advance the project.
• Approved issuance of obligations by Yates County Capital Resource Corporation to finance a project for Keuka College. This is not a debt of Yates County.
• Reappointed Jeff Morehouse, Steve Griffin and Sara Purdy to the Empire Zone Board. Legislature chairman Taylor Fitch said although the program expired June 30, previous programs will be continued.
• Appointed Michael Rusinko to the Finger Lake Workforce Investment Board for a term ending June 30, 2013.
 The August meeting was the last of four meetings held in the evening. There was not a large increase in the number of people attending the evening meetings and meetings will return to the customary afternoon schedule. Legislator Mark Morris thanked the group for the trial of night meetings. He agreed that the time change did not result in more attendance by the public. The next meeting of the Yates County Legislature will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 13 in legislative chambers in the county office building on Liberty Street in Penn Yan.




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