By Fred Woods
In its first meeting of 2018, the Lee County Commission heard from Christy Crow and Bill Fuller, of the law firm of Jinks, Crow & Dickson, about a multi-district law suit consolidating cases being brought against the major U.S. opiate manufacturers. The federal Controlled Substances Act requires wholesale distributors of controlled substances (and all legally produced controlled substances are required to go through these distributors) to report suspicious orders of controlled drugs. This, the law suits maintain, is not being done. The claim gains support from repeated large fines and out-of- court law suit settlements. There are only 800 registered wholesale distributors in the U.S. and three Fortune 500 companies (Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson Corporation) own 85 percent of the distribution market share.
The law suits seek damages from costs incurred by local governments brought about by the failure of the wholesale distributors to meet their legal obligations. Crow and Fuller asked Lee County to join with 28 other Alabama cities and counties in the Alabama suit. Only active participants can receive damages in any settlement, contrary to Class action suits. Participation, according to the attorneys, will not require any funding from the county.
Montray Thompson, spokesman for the Rolling Hills Homeowners Association, called the Commission’s attention to the deterioration of Lee Road 2119 in their subdivision located in District 4. LR 2119 is off LR 187 and the subdivision roads met all county standards when accepted for county maintenance several years ago. County Engineer Justin Hardee said base failure was the reason for the road condition and the county accepts full responsibility for repairs. With good weather and the road repair group’s current work load, LR 2119 repairs should be completed within the next two months.
The commission also approved a change order for the Beulah Senior Center project. The soil under the parking lot failed its compaction test and must be removed and replaced before the parking lot can be paved. This change order increases the project cost by $4,906 but, due to savings from previous change orders, is still right at the original contract price of $802,800.
The center was scheduled for completion in mid-November but has encountered some minor delays. Tentatively walk-through is scheduled for the week of January 15 with delivery of the completed Senior Center to the county by the end of the month.