Winfield City Council receives update on telepharmacy status
BY BRYCE KELLY
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — It was a fairly light Winfield City Council meeting Wednesday evening, with the board having little to vote on.
While not an agenda item, Winfield Mayor, Chris Finnell, did comment on the ongoing status of a telepharmacy during his mayoral comments Wednesday, saying the city is fully ready to welcome a telepharmacy when the Iowa Pharmacy Board allows for such plans to continue.
“It’s 2017 and I was hopeful of a new pharmacy in town by this time,” said Finnell. “It’s still a viable thing at this point…I never dreamed it would take this long.”
According to Finnell, the Iowa Pharmacy Board remains the major roadblock to the project moving forward.
“What the Iowa Board is still fighting over is how many prescriptions can be filled at a telepharmacy,” said Finnell.
The Iowa Board of Pharmacy creates the rules and regulations on how the telepharmacies should be implemented and regulated, but until the board can come together on this issue, things are at a standstill.
“We will keep fighting for this until we get somewhere,” said Finnell. “At this point, I think our next play is just to keep on our legislators and make sure they remain supportive of this, which I believe they will do.”
The Iowa Senate passed a telepharmacy bill in 2015, but not the House. However, everything came together in 2016, when both the House and Senate passed the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad in May.
The law became effective on July 1, 2016.
In other news, the council got an update from Finnell regarding nuisance abatement at 108 North Olive. During last month’s meeting, the board again discussed overdue improvements to be made at N. Olive Street property owned by Richard Hughes, of Winfield. Currently, the council has ordered Hughes to make repairs to the house’s back roof, as well as the structure’s falling turrets. In the case of both items, Hughes has failed to comply with the council’s requests to repair the house.
During last month’s meeting, Finnell brought cost estimates to repair the house’s roof and turrets. Finnell said estimates to fix the turrets came in at around $30,000.
“We’ve had a hard time getting quotes on the roof because no one wants to get on the deteriorating roof,” Finnell stated last month. However, Finnell said he thought they were looking at an easy $60,000 to fix both the turrets and the roof.
The property is only valued at roughly $13,400.
As it currently stands, the council is still tossing around various ideas with the homeowner about renting an apartment or a small house in town, and getting out of his current home. As of Wednesday night’s meeting, no such dwelling has been found, and discussions with Hughes are still ongoing.
“We’ve been looking around for something for Mr. Hughes to live in, but have not found anything yet,” said Finnell, saying he would like to talk to relatives of Hughes for some help or suggestions on how to proceed with finding Hughes an adequate living situation.
Moving on to other agenda items, the council approved the following:
• Approved a $2,000 bid for the disposal of property at 306 East Elm.
• Approved committee appointments for city clerk, city treasurer, landfill representatives and sub committee members.
• Approved a liquor license renewal with Sunday privileges and outdoor service at the 19th hole for WARC.
• Set a budget workshop for fiscal year 2018 for Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at 5 p.m.
Before adjourning, the council also tabled action on approving committee appointments for the city attorney until next meeting. The council also approved the tabling of approval of a maintenance contract with Maguire Iron for the water tower, as lower price quotes are still being searched for.
In addition, the council heard a short presentation from Matt Cloos of MSA Professional Services regarding wastewater treatment improvements to the city.
The next Winfield City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Winfield City Hall.