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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Back in November 2016, Ste. Genevieve County voted to join 10 other counties in eastern Missouri in a prescription drug-monitoring program.
The county commission voted to approve the $250 first-year fee and $334 subsequent annual fee to be part of the database, which links in with other counties.
If a patient is getting the same or a similar prescription filled under various doctors or at different pharmacies, red flags will be raised.
Sandra Bell, director of the county health department at the time, spearheaded the program, which wound up going statewide.
“If a person takes five prescriptions to five doctors, a red flag goes up,” Bell told the commissioners at the time.
The county has been in the program ever since.
Missouri was the last state in the nation to create a statewide prescription drug-monitoring program. Some 75 counties already had a database in place when a 2021 law mandated all providers to submit patient information or be penalized.
The program is overseen by a task force of licensed healthcare professionals.
Last Thursday the annual contract came up for renewal. The commissioners were in agreement that the program is a good one. However, Second District Commissioner Mark Marberry said he heard that the state might be taking the program over. They agreed to look into this before signing the next year’s contract.
SCHMIEDER REPORTS ON ROAD WORK
Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, reported that final work on Ditch Road would take place this week. Wingwalls for concrete box culvert the county put in this summer will be installed.
Schmieder said his crews would be mowing, patching potholes and doing other maintenance.
He said they would also be putting “a few problem pipes in, around the county.”
He also told the commissioners that the Kocher Road concrete culverts need some concrete added underneath them.
He and the commissioners then went over the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) list of county roads. Some question arose as to whether there are two separate Bahr Roads and whether the second one would be a county road or a private one.
REPORT GIVEN ON SEMO MEETING
First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy reported on a recent Southeast Missouri Commissioners meeting they had attended.
Marberry said that during the meeting he brought up the idea of pursuing legislation to make stealing road signs a felony. He said District 145 State Representative Rick Francis liked the idea and will look into introducing such a bill.
The commissioners have long warned of the dangers stolen signs present. The county has been involved in a lawsuit due to injuries from a car crash that occurred in 2019 after a stop sign had been stolen.
They have noted that missing street signs can be just as dangerous, costing ambulance, law enforcement or fire crews vital minutes in responding to emergency calls.
• No additional word had been received on the community center roof.
• The commissioners noted that a Purple Heart ceremony would take place this Monday at the American Legion hall.
• No minutes were available from the annual Sept. 25 Salary Commission meeting in the courthouse.
• The commissioners attended a Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission meeting Sept. 25 in Perryville. A presentation was made by the Spacewalker space museum, located in Bonne Terre.
• They also attended the Sept. 26 New Bourbon Regional Port Authority meeting. There was no quorum. However, it was announced that dredging at the port had been completed and that a firm had been found to conduct an audit of the port authority.