A new space to provide services is the number one priority for the Jasper County Health Department and Jasper County Board of Health. Joe Brock, an official on the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, spoke with the board at its meeting Thursday about where the supervisors sit on the topic and what steps the department should take before bringing the issue to the board.
JCHD is currently housed in the basement of the Jasper County Annex Building, a building the supervisors have been reviewing for potential rehabilitation due to major water issues in the lower level. It has been housed there since its inception in February 2016, following Skiff Medical Center ending its longtime partnership with the county.
“We decided to look at it in stages,” Brock said. “We looked at the building, as far as controlling the water on the outside, removing the staircase and fixing up the dock area.”
Brock said as of now, he is not sure where the project is heading.
“We have one supervisor that wants to vacate this building completely and has no interest in continuing in this building at all,” Brock said. “My other supervisor, I’m not sure where he is with it.”
The board of health, along with JCHD, has been exploring options for a new location for the department. On their wish list is a space that is ADA accessible with offices, a proper meeting room and restrooms among more detailed specifications.
“I’ve gone with you guys three of four times to look at the building, and I’ve been the only one who has showed up to look at these buildings,” Brock said. “I wanted to approach it that we can go look at everything and at least know what we are saying no to or turning down. I have maintained that whatever we do with this building, if we could do something with the health department, get you guys in a different spot, that would relieve a lot of pressure on this building as far as the coming and going and the parking. But I don’t feel I am getting the support with that idea, either.”
Brock said the next step for the board is to bring a presentation before the supervisors on why the current space is inadequate, what the department is looking for in a space and any corroborating information that would be beneficial to make a case to move.
“I just can’t express to you just how much I support your mission and what you do,” Brock said. “I look at this having been done in a hospital setting ... this building, I don’t know if that is acceptable. You guys have expressed it isn’t acceptable.”
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