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County commissioners approve opioid abuse settlements

A CVS Pharmacy is shown in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Monday May 3, 2021. County commissioners have agreed to enter into opioid abuse settlement agreements with drugmakers and pharmacies. The settlements are being negotiated with Teva, Allergan, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

County commissioners Wednesday agreed to enter into opioid abuse settlement agreements with drugmakers and pharmacies.

The settlements are being negotiated with Teva, Allergan, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens.

Solicitor Julie Graham called the settlements a “massive undertaking.”

The amount of money the county will receive hasn’t been determined, but Commissioner Kevin Boozel said the amount will be less than a previous opioid settlement in which the county will receive $9.6 million over 18 years.

The money will come from proposed national settlements with the companies, according to the settlement resolution approved by commissioners.

The county’s settlement will come from the proposed Pennsylvania Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust, which will receive the state’s settlement. Boozel said the state will receive $1 billion from settlement.

The county’s previous settlement was approved last year with pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson. The county’s settlement came from $1.07 billion the state received from a $26 billion national settlement.

Reimbursement for grave markers

Commissioners also agreed to provide reimbursement up to $100 for setting grave markers for deceased county residents who served in the military during peacetime.

Until now, the county provided the same amount for the grave markers of county veterans who served during wartime.

Butler County has to be listed as a deceased veteran’s county of residence to be eligible for the reimbursement.

Solicitor hired

Commissioners ratified an agreement for professional services to Julie Graham as an independent contractor to serve as solicitor from March 1 through July 31 at a cost of $11,196 per month.

Commissioner Leslie Osche said the the board wants to have a solicitor in place during the May 16 primary and hopes to hire someone to permanently fill the position in July.

Commissioners named Graham as interim solicitor March 3 after they announced that former solicitor H. William “Wil” White III no longer was employed by the county. His last day was March 1.

Graham served as solicitor before White, who was hired in October 2019.

Restroom upgrade

Two bids were opened for a contract to make the restrooms at Jefferson Township Park more accessible to those with disabilities.

Funded by Community Development Block Grant money, the project involves using storage space for the concession stand in the same building as the restrooms to make the restrooms larger and more accessible to people with disabilities. A walkway will be built around the exterior of the building. Work might not start until the end of the summer to prevent it from interfering with park activities.

The bids were $129,969 from Graham Construction of Claysville, Washington County, and $185,000 from TBI Contracting of McKeesport, Allegheny County. The bids are under review.

Senior prom

Commissioners also hired disc jockey Marty Tack, also known as Golden Oldies, for $125 to play music for the “Senior Prom” at the Butler Senior Center in the Tanglewood Center in Butler Township on from 2-5 p.m. May 31.

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