The Grant County Court attended the Association of Oregon Counties annual conference in Eugene and came back with ideas.
The conference Nov. 19-21 had breakout sessions on topics such as employee compensation, forest issues, law enforcement and health programs.
“It was interesting to know that there are people that we can hire from other counties to come over to train,” said Grant County Judge Scott Myers. “It’s cheaper to bring them over, instead of sending people to Salem to receive the same training.”
The conference gave Oregon county leaders an opportunity to talk with each other about their counties, the different issues they are facing and how to deal with certain issues.
In between each session, attendees had the opportunity to speak with representatives from most of the state agencies.
Commissioner Jim Hamsher spoke with a representative from the National Association of Counties and learned about a program they provide that can help people in the county receive a discount on prescribed drugs.
“I talked to NACo while I was at the conference, and they offer a prescription drug plan that’s not only free for county employees but for all the residents in Grant County,” Hamsher said. “What they do is offer about an average of a 32% reduction on prescriptions, and this is to help people that are uninsured or are under-insured.”
It will cost no money for the county to join the program because the county is a member of the organization. The discount varies depending on the type of medicine prescribed, but it ranges from 15-75% off. Not all pharmacies participate in the program, but Hamsher verified that Len’s Drugs does accept the discounts.
The Grant County Court voted to join the program, and once it begins, additional information will be given on how locals can get a discount card from NACo. While the county approved the program, the cards and discounts will be distributed by NACo.
“People who participate in the program can get significant savings on lab tests, diabetic supplies and all kind of different things,” Hamsher said. “There are also plans for dental and vision for people to enroll in, but it’s not an insurance plan, it’s a discount program.”
In other county court news:
• The court approved the purchase of a Mac Tool Scanner for $10,759 and a front end dozer for a John Deere Motor Grader for $21,718. The money is coming out of the shop and equipment funds.
• The court approved changes to the Assessor’s Office hours to be from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays.
• With Secure Rural Schools funding available to share, school funds will receive $407,189 and $468,764 will go to the city streets and bridges fund in the road department.
• Plans and resolutions for the Community Development Block Grant for the domestic violence shelter were approved by the court.
• The county approved extending the contract with Jerome Natural Resources consultant Irene Jerome for two years. Jerome is in charge of Firewise and community wildfire planning, where she teaches local residents how to make their properties more fire resistant.