Board considers relocating Monett health department

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees discussed a building project that will improve the Monett health department office at the board's regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 20.

After evaluating the Monett facility, Richard Werner, of Werner and Associates Architects, of Springfield, and engineer Byron Martin found that the building did not meet proper codes and that it would not be cost effective to repair the facility.

"The weight load is too much for the building and there is no labor barrier under the floor," said John Starchman, board chairman. "In order to repair the facility we would need to jack up the building, dig out the crawl space and pour footings and foundation under the building."

In October, Kathleen King, health department administrator, reported that the department has received a $121,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health that could help finance improvements at the Monett office.

"The grant money cannot be used to buy a new building," said King. "It can only be used to improve an existing facility."

After discussing the department's options to provide an improved facility in Monett, the board directed King to obtain an appraisal on the current Monett office, research prevailing wage requirements regarding grant funds and contact a real estate agent to research property that could be purchased for the Monett office.

In new business, King asked the board to consider serving as the municipal agent for a grant that would finance a two-year community service project for the Ozark Regional Alliance, which serves 16 counties in southwest Missouri.

The proposed grant funds would finance a full-time community education professional who would research curriculum that could be used to educate low-literacy individuals and families in southwest Missouri.

According to the project's module learning system, the project will "create a resource tool kit that contains information, materials, curriculum and suggestions that will empower educators to deliver information on life skills, health and safety and family and community issues to low-literacy audiences in a format that is easy for them to understand."

The program could help low-income, low-literacy families and individuals and families that use English as a second language who are living in Barry County and other surrounding counties, said King.

The program could include the following educational topics: money management; job interview skills; goal setting; interpersonal communications; senior and youth nutrition; stress management; emergency preparedness; parenting skills; kids and self-esteem; and healthy house.

"These are all things that could help the citizens of Barry County," said Starchman.

The board approved King's request to pursue the community education grant for the Ozark Regional Alliance.

In other business, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:

• Discussed recent complaints about the department's new food service training requirements.

• Heard an update on the Women, Infant, Children (WIC) program.

• Received an update on the status of the department's 2006 audit.

• Heard that Roger Brock will conduct an advanced wastewater system installers training session in Cassville next month.

• Directed King to obtain bids for a new sign for the Cassville health department office.

• Heard that a new external electric plug that will be utilized by the Jordan Valley Community Health Center mobile dental unit will be installed at the Cassville office.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: