Winfield set to purchase building for telepharmacy

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


WINFIELD ? The five-year push for a local telepharmacy in Winfield is finally coming to fruition with the city drafting up a purchasing agreement for the building at 107 N. Locust St. in Winfield.

In a closed session during the Winfield city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, the council landed on a price point for the building.

The building was formerly Peter?s Plumbing Shop, until it was purchased by someone trying to expand their plumbing business to Winfield. Mayor Chris Finnell said the shop never really took off and has been sitting empty for several years.

Finnell?s fight for a telepharmacy has gone so far as to change state law when he and other city representatives worked to get the Iowa Legislature to pass a law in 2016 permitting telepharmacies in Iowa.

Finnell?s next goal is to have the pharmacist in Winfield by February 2018 to get the telepharmacy up and running.

In other news, Winfield renewed their certificate of deposit (CD) for the city and library at Pilot Grove Bank with a bid of 1.75 percent, with automatic renewal every year starting Dec. 1. Finnell said this was slightly higher than last year.

Public Works is working with a $3,000 budget for the upkeep of ash trees, which are being infected by the emerald ash borer beetle that is making its way through Iowa. The beetles lay their eggs on the bark of the tree, disrupting nutrients and water supply and causing the tree to die. There are 84 ash trees in Winfield. Each tree costs around $1,000 apiece to cut down and $200 to treat for one year.

?That?s not guaranteeing it will save your tree,? Public Works Director Chad Venghaus said.

At the request by the Winfield-Mt. Union Community School District prom committee, the council is donating $150 to after-prom, which is the same amount they donated last year.

As the meeting wrapped up, Finnell thanked city council members who will not be returning for another term, saying he has truly enjoyed working with all of them.

?Though we?ve got a good town, it?s ya?ll who make that happen,? Finnell said. ?I really appreciate your service and the time you?ve given.?

Finnell gave a special thanks to city council member Jan Walter, who worked as a city employee for 31 years and has spent six years on council.

?It?s bittersweet (to be stepping down from city council),? Walter said. ?I have enjoyed every minute of it. I?m thankful to the city for what they?ve done for me for 37 years.?

The next Winfield City Council meeting is Dec. 13.