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Health Department lacks own address
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The county is hoping for a new Health Department, but since the current one does not have a physical address getting a grant has been difficult.

County Executive Jimmy Haley expressed to the Building and Grounds Committee why there needs to be a new Health Department at a meeting last week.

“We have been constant in our request to the Department of Health and the commissioner that we need a new Health Department. We have one of the oldest and it is overcrowded and it does not really accommodate the expansion of medical services,” said Haley.

The current Health Department is used by multiple counties and Haley says that is one of the reasons why it needs to be upgraded.

“The state wants this to be a hub for healthcare in this region because people come from Van Buren and other counties so the volume is pretty high there. We are at the top of the list for a new Health Department,” said Haley. “It will be a perfect place for that armory property to move the Health Department over there and transition the Health Department for Drug Recovery Program and counseling and rehab and stuff as a part of the criminal justice task force stuff.”

“You are landlocked where you are at now anyways,” said Commissioner Robert Hennessee. “There’s nothing else you can do there. It is dated and continues to cost us money and like you said it is really more or less a regional hub.”

Haley told the committee the property where the Health Department is has never been properly platted or deeded which has caused some problems when looking for grants.

“We have run into that with the Health Department with a grant they just applied for because the Health Department does not have a physical address,” said Haley. “Their address is the jail’s address. It is county property, but it has never been subdivided so it still looks like the Health Department belongs to the Sheriff’s Department as property. So we are going to have to get all that surveyed particularly when the armory is returned to the county we are going to have to have a proper survey of the property because it has never been done.”

Haley says they are looking into getting the land surveyed, but it will take time due to the only available person to survey the land being six months behind already. Committee members also discussed the parking issue at the Health Department and are looking into building a circle drive.