GRANITE?FALLS?- The Yellow Medicine County Board heard from Sheriff Bill Flaten and Ann Orren, coordinator of the Chemical Health Coalition of YMC, about a prescription drug drop-off box at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
"Studies show among our elderly population they have an average of two pounds of unwanted medications," Orren said.
The box will be located in the sheriff's office at the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse and will be open for drop-off 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays.
"We'll store it for a while and take it to an incinerator," Flaten said.
Only law enforcement officers can legally transport drugs to the disposal site.
Orren told the board there is an ongoing problem with young people taking prescription drugs from grandparents' medicine cabinets.
According to Flaten, prescription medications flushed down the toilet contaminate septic systems or landfills if thrown in the trash.
The charge for disposal will be 50 cents per pound. The cost of the box was paid by the Chemical Health Coalition.
In another action, the board voted to approve a five-year capital improvement plan on the recommendation of County Engineer Andy Sanders.
The plan calls for maintenance, upgrade and repair of 44 miles of streets and roads in the county and the repair or replacement of eight bridges. The 2012 parts of the project have already been bid out. Surveying and design for the 2013 part of the project will begin next winter.
The board also voted to establish a seven-member wellness committee to encourage healthy diet and exercise among county employees. County Administrator Ryan Krosch said studies have shown a well-designed wellness program can result in a 25 percent reduction in lost time because of illness and injuries.