Columbia County Emergency Management Director Pam Tucker stands outside the building on the corner of Ronald Reagan Drive and North Belair Road on Jan. 19 in Evans. The building will be converted into her new headquarters.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
At Tuesday night's Columbia County Commission meeting, it seemed as though it was Richmond County program night.
Officials from two Richmond County organizations, Project Access and Stepping Stones to Recovery, were on hand to ask for the commission's support.
"We're bringing this to Columbia County to see if, in time, you'd be interested in implementing it,'' said Dr. Terrence J. Cook, of the Richmond County Medical Society's Project Access.
Project Access, Cook explained, provides comprehensive health coverage for uninsured Richmond County residents age 18 to 64 who are below the federal poverty level. He said that for every $1 government spends in the program, residents get back $4 in services from physicians who donate their time. He said money given to the program mostly helps pay for prescription medicine.
"The vast majority of the money is on medications,'' he said.
Cook estimated that the uninsured rate in Columbia County might be between 10 percent and 15 percent. He said implementing a plan such as Richmond County's would cost about $200,000 initially.
Commissioners accepted the presentation as information only.
Monica Shiver, of Stepping Stones to Recovery, also asked for the commission's support Tuesday night, but didn't request funding. Stepping Stones, she said, is a Richmond County counseling service on Wrightsboro Road that would like to expand into Columbia County to offer help to teens with substance abuse problems.
"We have a lack of youth addiction programs,'' she said.
Shiver said she wants to apply for a grant to help fund a new clinic and needs Columbia County's support before she can be eligible. Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the idea.
Also at Tuesday night's meeting:
• Commissioners gave an honorary proclamation for Black History Month to Doris Belcher, who worked 32 years with Columbia County's Extension Service.
"This lady is an outstanding lady and has definitely given her heart and life to Columbia County,'' Commissioner Lee Anderson said.
• After hearing a presentation by Pierce Blanchard, of the Committee for Quality Schools, commissioners were asked to endorse a March 15 vote to extend the county school board's special local option sales tax. Commissioners voted unanimously to give their support.
• Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a first reading of an amended ordinance that will alter the county's water conservation phases to fall in line with state requirements. The change, which will need a second reading approval at the commission's next meeting March 15, does not change the days residents are allowed to water outdoors in phase one. What it does is add two more phases to Columbia County's plan, should they be needed in the future.
Currently, the county has three phases: even-odd watering, even-odd watering with allotted times and no watering. The state has five phases, including two additional phases allowing different restricted watering times. The county's current phase one outdoor watering restriction calls for watering on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at even addresses; watering on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at odd addresses; and no watering on Mondays.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.