Commissioners hold ‘on the road’ meeting at Parkesburg Borough Hall
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
PARKESBURG – At their latest “on the road” meeting last week at Parkesburg Borough Hall, the county commissioners learned the importance of the Brandywine for optimal craft-beer production, the value of collaboration for area firefighters, the newest features at two county parks, and updates on a successful youth program, the Parkesburg Point.
A presentation on the Victory Brewing Company’s Parkesburg brewing facility, which opened in the fall, prompted compliments. Commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello suggested that as Victory continues to grow – it now distributes to 34 states – it might become as synonymous with Chester County as Longwood Gardens, Vanguard, and QVC. Commissioner Kathi Cozzone noted that “the organization gives a lot back to the community in many different ways,” while Commissioner Terence Farrell, acknowledging that he is a fan of the products, added kudos for “the quality of the beer.”
Dwayne Walton, executive director of Parkesburg Point, thanked the commissioners for the county grant that helped the youth center expand, and discussed the ways in which disadvantaged area youth have benefitted from the center. He said the outreach would not be possible without the county and without the community, member of which have been integral to the operation’s successes.
Raymond Stackhouse, chief of the Keystone Valley Fire Department – which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary – talked about the history of merging the Pomeroy, Parkesburg, and Atglen Fire Companies, a process that began in 2009 in response to dwindling funding and volunteers. Stackhouse, who also serves as president of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association, acknowledged that difficulties surfaced the consolidation, however, the results were worth it with improved service for the community.
“It required a lot of courage and a lot of cooperation,” responded Costello, adding that effective leadership also played a role.
The commissioners also heard presentations on improvements to two county parks, one of which is relatively new – the 4-year-old Wolf’s Hollow Park in West Fallowfield Township – and one of which is celebrating its 50th anniversary: Hibernia Park in West Caln and West Brandywine Townships.
In addition to spotlighting Parkesburg area programs and people, the commissioners announced a new health discount program for Chester County residents. Jeanne Casner, director of the Chester County Health Department, provided an overview of the program, which offers citizens medical discounts for a nominal fee.
The program is provided by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with CVS Caremark, and includes discounts on vision care – including LASIK and PRK procedures – hearing aids and screenings, prepaid lab work, prepaid diagnostic imaging and diabetic supplies, as well as prescriptions.
“Chester County may be ranked as one of the healthiest counties in Pennsylvania, but for many of our citizens, health care costs remain a key concern,” said Costello. “Having access to programs that help save on health and medical costs is a great help to county residents.”
Residents benefit from the program by saving on auxiliary healthcare services that are not currently included in the Affordable Care Act, Casner said. There are no annual limits placed on use, no forms to fill out, and no waiting period. The plans starts at $6.95 a month or $69 a year for individuals, and for families it is $8.95 a month or $79 a year.
“The NACo discount card programs for prescriptions and dental services have been very well-received – and used – by Chester County residents,” said Cozzone. “Both programs link our citizens with hundreds of pharmacies and dentists throughout the county who honor the NACo discount cards. I’m sure the Health Discount Card program will be as beneficial in cost savings.”
Casner said the Prescription Discount Card program and the Dental Discount Card program have both already saved county residents hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The overall average prescription drug price savings has been 25 percent, and has been used by nearly 18,000 people since 2009,” said Farrell. The Dental Discount program, which began in 2011, has saved participants between 20 to 50 percent on dental service expenses, Casner said.
For more information on the new Health Discount Card program, as well as the existing Prescription and Dental Discount Card programs, go do www.chesco.org/health or call the Chester County Health Department on 610-344-6225.