MALONE — The Franklin County Legislature adopted a local law to begin billing private insurance companies for medical and dental services the county provides while someone is incarcerated at the County Jail.
The county surpassed its 2017 medical budget for inmates in September and had to transfer another $19,000 into the account to cover anticipated expenses until the end of the year.
In 1992, the State Legislature gave counties the power to collect reimbursements from insurance carriers for incarcerated clients who have health insurance. But Franklin County didn't pursue it then.
Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill proposed the idea to a previous incarnation of the County Legislature shortly after he was elected in 2011, but no action was taken then either.
But when sitting legislators learned of this untapped revenue opportunity from a recent interview Mulverhill did with the Press-Republican, they called the sheriff to a meeting to provide details.
Legislators quickly moved to draw up a local law and held a public hearing to gain residents' comments. There were none, so the resolution adopting the local law was unanimously passed Thursday.
Legislators also OKed several hirings and creation of a new part-time position.
They voted to allow the hiring of three people for the Department of Social Services: a caseworker, at a base salary of $40,291; a case-services aide, with a base salary of $29,221; and a community-service aide, at a base salary of $24,882.
An account-clerk job was abolished to create the case-service aide, and two part-time community-service-aide jobs were combined to create the one full-time position.
On Thursday, legislators also gave their approval to creation of a part-time cleaner on the Buildings and Grounds staff.
The person will clean county-office space in Saranac Lake, with the work not to exceed six hours a week at $11.34 an hour.
In other action at the meeting, the County Legislature:
• Approved the mortgage-tax schedule to pay municipalities a portion of the $268,256 in receipts that were collected when property transactions were recorded with the County Clerk's Office between April 1 and Sept. 30.
The breakdown for each community is: Bangor, $7,816; Bellmont: $10,528; Bombay: $2,223; Brandon: $4,702; Brighton: $6,884; Burke (town): $5,189; Burke (village):$244.44; Chateaugay (town): $8,323; Chateaugay (village): $1,495; Constable: $3,794; Dickinson: $11,485; Duane:$1,938; Fort Covington, $1,758; Franklin: $20,124; Harrietstown (town): $42,822; Harrietstown (Village of Saranac Lake): $5,878; Malone (town): $44,034; Malone (village): $10,733; Moira (town): $9,860; Moira (Village of Brushton): $619; Santa Clara: $12,827; Tupper Lake (town): $41,550; Tupper Lake (village): $7,286; Waverly: $2,229; and Westville: $3,966.
• Agreed to be the pass-through agency and provide $160,000 for preliminary site work on Merrick Road (County Route 42) over the west branch of Derek Creek in the Town of Fort Covington.
• Appointed Dr. Craig Richards as medical director of the Office for the Aging home-visiting program at a cost of $600 a month in grant funding.
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