The Cartersville City Council unanimously voted to pass a one-year moratorium to help alleviate current problems with prescription drug abuse in the community in association with “pill mill” pain clinics.
In the resolution, community leaders cited the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and said the Cartersville Police Department is recommending pain clinics be denied business licenses in Cartersville for 12 months.
The moratorium will stop these pain management clinics from setting up shop in Cartersville during those months and new businesses will be under a close eye of city attorney's office before being allowed to open.
City Attorney Keith Lovell said “pill mills” are establishments that distribute prescription drugs to individuals who may or may not need them and that the abuse of prescription drugs is becoming a growing problem in the area.
“There is an issue of people refilling the same prescription over and over again and getting more prescriptions filled for those who don't need them,” said Lovell.
The passing of the moratorium will not affect full-time facilities such as hospitals, said Lovell.
The city of Cartersville is following in the footsteps of several other communities around the state, such as Cartersville's sister cities Kennesaw, Roswell, Alpharetta and Canton, by looking into options about eliminating potential pill mills.
The council said it plans on looking into other issues centered around prescription drugs, including the possibility of limiting the amount of pills allowed by a single prescription and eliminating the accessibility of traveling state lines to get more prescription drugs.
“At the end of these 12 months and before hand, the city will be evaluating what other communities have done regarding this issue and will be adopting a ordinance to deal with the problem,” said Lovell.
Earlier this month, the state House of Representatives approved HB 36, which will track all medical prescriptions in a central database and will target all Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substances. The bill will help crack down on the growing flood of prescription medicines sold illegally on the streets by tracking prescriptions in the state.
Lovell said that currently Georgia is one of only three states to not have a central database registration to help control prescriptions and that people are traveling from neighboring states to fill prescriptions in Georgia facilities.
Other items discussed at the meeting include:
- In honor of Civic Youth Day, several local students were sworn in as part of an effort to include youth in the law-making process. Students from the community were invited to act as mayor, city attorney, city manager and other local, including county, officials for the day.
- Cartersville School Superintendent Howard Hinesley lead a discussion on the status of the Cartersville School System, focusing mainly on the issues of academics, renovation and budgeting. Hinesley said that the school system plans to re-tile and refurnish Cartersville Primary School this summer as well as break ground on a $2 million multipurpose facility for Cartersville Middle. The system also plans to add more AP classes for Cartersville High. In reference to the system's budgeting, Hinesley said despite the state budget cuts the school system has put away money in savings accounts from previous years which will eliminate the need for furlough days and cuts for teachers this year. Hinesley added that the system is “in good shape for the next three years.”
- The council unanimously approved an amendment to the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Ordinance to prohibit parking on Postelle Street. The Housing Authority constructed new parking on the interior of the housing complex for residents to use in lieu of on-street parking.
- The council looked at the Zoning and Annexation request to relocate jurisdiction from the county to the city for property located at 42 Natchi Trail. The council agreed for a second and final reviewing to be held at its next meeting in May.
- *The council looked at re-zoning property at 1009 and 1011 N. Tennessee Street, as proposed by Berrey Properties Inc., from professional services to office commercial. The council agreed for a second and final reviewing to be held at its May meeting.
- *Bill Lyerla resigned as member of the the Historic Preservation Commission and the council approved Larry Gregory of Carpets by Gregory to replace Lyerla. Gregory will fill the rest of Lyerla's unexpired term plus a three-year term ending in September 2014.
- The council unanimously approved a contract for performing services for the Cartersville Optimist Club's Fourth of July Celebration that will take place in Dellinger Park. The city will allow fireworks during the celebration and will provide emergency services on-site.
- The council approved three requests for the Water Department: A new roof for the Water Distribution and Collections building, a security system to protect Water Distribution and Collections, and to replace Water Distribution and Collections stock items to restock the water/sewer inventory.
- City Hall will receive repairs and new carpeting after the council approved to repair water-damaged areas in the building.
See the agenda with full details on all the measures attached to this article.