Public Health continues search for new home
he Washington County Board of Health learned that there may be as much as $365,000 available as local matching funds that could be used to seek grant funding for a new facility during its monthly meeting on Aug. 14.
Public Health Administrator Danielle Pettit-Majewski said that she discussed the potential for local matching funds with other county officials including Treasurer Jeff Garrett, Auditor Dan Widmer, budget director Cyndie Sinn, and Supervisor Jack Seward Jr., who is a member of the board of health. The department's fiscal administrator Peggy Wood and Steve Olson have been involved in the process. Olson headed a building and finance committee in the past.
Pettit-Majewski said that there is a line item of $105,000 available for a public health home. There also is $150,000 available for relocating public health, and a $10,000 donation from a private donor. She said that the department also had an unspent balance of $234,000 at the end of fiscal year 2014. Of that amount, the department was reimbursed $100,000 from Medicare and Medicaid.
A space needs assessment for public health was done in 2008, and the assessment showed that the department needs about 11,000 square feet. Near the end of 2009, a building of that size was estimated to cost $1.9 million.
"We would be ineligible for any type of funding or grants if we do not have some type of cash match from the county," Pettit-Majewski told the board of health. Two potential grant sources mentioned were a Community Development Block Grant and a Riverboat Foundation grant.
She said that she, Olson and others would like to go to the board of supervisors and share with them the information they would need to help the project move forward. That may take place in September.
Seward said that the idea of adding a new facility for the Communications Center is a possibility. He said there using the site of the Communications Center property to build a bigger building has been discussed. However he said the idea of a multi-story building with a bridge to connect it to the courthouse has also come up.
Pettit-Majewski said the Communications Center needs about 1,200 to 1,400 square feet.
Pettit-Majewski said the project would require a referendum. The earliest a referendum could be held is March 2015. May and August are also possible times for the referendum.
The board of health may reactivate the building and finance committee during its September meeting.