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Crippling cost of medication addressed

Pope spoke Thursday to the monthly meeting of the Marengo County Commission.

Mental health services and the health department has been hit by state budget cuts, she said. "Mental Health has had to reduce the number of people in their Compassionate Medication program." The Health Department is closing the blood pressure medication program.

Funding from a $17,700 Delta Regional Commission grant will be used to hire a person to help citizens in need to fill our compassionate medication forms. "There are drug companies that have medications available at a reduced cost or for free," Pope said. The forms can be difficult and time consuming to fill out, she said. "This person won’t be sitting in a office in Linden or…Demopolis. They will actually go out into the county in various locations and meet the people. So many people have transportation problems in this county.

In other action from Thursday’s meeting, a hazard mitigation plan to be developed by the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission was approved by the commission. ATRC director John Clyde Riggs spoke to the commissioners about the plan. Marengo County has been designated by the state Emergency Management Agency for the plan.

The plan involves communities and the county at large to deal with a natural disaster. Each county in the U.S. must develop a plan, he said. "FEMA determined…that unless the county has a hazard mitigation plan or had one started by September of 2004 &045; if you had a natural disaster in your county would not be eligible for FEMA funds," Riggs said.

There has to be a draft plan in by May 1, 2004. The ATRC will work with Sylvan Mutschler, county EMA director. Funding from ATRC for the plan will save the county up to $15,000.

Mutschler has tried to have a couple of town meeting which were not well attended. "There’s got to be more emphasis put on emergency management in general from elected officials in the cities and the counties," Mutschler said.

The commission approved a resolution honoring the late Jane Sutton of The Democrat Reporter newspaper.

Loretta Harper was appointed to West Alabama Mental Health Board, and Mitch Snipes was appointed to the county E-911 board. Kevin McKinney was reappointed to the E-911 board.