• 75°

County receives $65,000 grant for dental health

Students in Stanly County Schools will have greater access to preventive dental measures as a result of a Duke Endowment grant procured by the Stanly County Dental Clinic, according to information presented to Stanly County Commissioners Monday night by Dr. Mindy Turner.

“Stanly County is part of a school-based oral health initiative,” said Turner. “The grant for which we have been approved is appropriated in three phases, with the county receiving $65,000 each year.”

Turner explained the first year of funding will be a readiness phase, in which the clinic and school system will implement dental care plans developed by Duke University and the Medical University of South Carolina for middle school students, as well as purchasing necessary equipment to take the program to the various county schools.

“The second and third years of funding will be the actual treatments which will be done at the schools,” said Turner, who noted that in other systems, the program has reduced tooth decay by 80 percent for students receiving the treatment, which involves application of a dental sealant.

In addition, the funding would be used to pay the salary of a part-time employee to assist with the program.

“What equipment would the first year funding be used to purchase?” asked Commissioner Tommy Jordan.

“We plan to purchase a van and portable dental units, which we will take out to the schools,” replied Turner, noting the units would be set up in the schools and probably remain in place for two or three days.

The board voted unanimously to accept the grant.

Following Turner’s presentation, Chief Deputy Ashley Thompson reported the current Sheriff’s Office K-9 had been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, and requested the animal be retired to the care of its current handler. The request was approved unanimously by the board.

Thompson also requested permission for the Sheriff’s Office to replace the retired K-9 with an animal from local breeder Gabe Smith at a cost of $8,500. The amount would include training and two-year guarantee on the animal’s health. Commissioners unanimously approved this request.

In other business the board:

• Appointed Bill Lawhon to represent Stanly County on the Cardinal Health County Commissioners Advisory Board.

• Authorized Interim Planning Director Bob Remsburg to approve subdivision plats presented to the county planning and zoning department

• Passed a consent agenda, including the sale of surplus property, an amendment to the Social Services budget, vehicle tax refunds, an insurance settlement, acceptance of a grant to the Health and Human Services Department and the monthly financial report for January.

Commissioners then recessed until March 1, when they will reconvene at 9 a.m. at the Stanly County Airport for the board’s annual planning retreat.