Lawsuit filed against drug companies

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners announced Friday that they have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Middle District in Greensboro against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid pain relievers.

Last month the board passed a resolution declaring the opioid crisis a public nuisance which must be abated for the benefit of Yadkin County and its residents and citizens and that they had signed a contract with a large number of law firms throughout the southeastern United States to file civil litigation in the courts.

At the start of Monday’s meeting, Commissioners Kevin Austin and David Moxley were nominated and reelected to serve in their respective roles of chairman and vice chairman of the board.

The board approved an initial lease agreement with Enterprise Fleet. As county vehicles, such as those used by the sheriff’s office are in need of replacing, the board will be working with Enterprise Fleet to lease newer vehicles. Currently, all county vehicles are purchased by the county and surplus or no longer used vehicles are sold on the website. By switching to a lease program, the county could potentially save between $20,000 and $30,000 in a five-year period, said County Manager Lisa Hughes.

An agreement also was approved by a 4-1 vote for a five-year contract for billing services through EMS Management and Consultants. The contract was renegotiated at a lower rate, which will save the county $26,775.53 for one year. There will be an additional savings as EMS/MC will be paying for the software charges of about $3,000 per year.

Moxley did cast the one dissenting vote, commenting on poor customer service he personally experienced with the company. He asked if other companies had been looked at as far as their price. Hughes said that most other companies were higher than the current price they had negotiated with EMS/MC.

An open position in the county finance office also was approved by the board to be upgraded from an Accounting Technician I to Accounting Technician II.

During her manager’s report, Hughes noted that work was close to completion on the East Bend waterline project. She said the project is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

The county offices will be closed Dec. 25-27 for Christmas as well as Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day. The next meeting of the board will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison