Commissioners Interested In Buying Health Department Building, ARPA Grant Application Available At Courthouse

WAYNE – As Wayne County continues to work on their budget, members with the Wayne County Board of Commissioners held their regularly scheduled meeting earlier this week.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, first on the appointment agenda was Julie Rother, Health Director with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department.

NNPHD has been considering how they might get a new building space as once the pandemic hit it magnified their growth. Right now, the health department has a little over 4,300 sq feet including a garage and space above the garage with the need for 6,500 sq feet.

There are nine office spaces, four cubicles and four people working from home as the group is looking at a total of 17 working spaces and also have a need for climate controlled storage. Northeast Nebraska Public Health is currently renting five different locations.

While considering options NNPHD thought the county might be interested in working together.  The Department of Social Services would complement the Health Department. The Board of Commissioners were asked would the county consider working together.

The Health Dept has $550,000 in ARPA funds that could go towards a building but that won’t cover a new building or a rebuild. NNPHD will keep commissioners informed of their progress and at this time commissioners are more interested in buying the building where they are currently located.

Summit Carbon Solutions then presented a packet of information to keep up the commissioners up to date on their project. The maps have not been updated yet, but 32% of the easements have been acquired in Wayne County.

Emergency Manager in Wayne County, Nic Kemnitz gave his report which also included the air conditioner in the trailer will be worked on.

Mark Casey, Highway Superintendent went over the Annual Certification of Program Compliance with the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classification and Standards. This will certify Wayne County has developed, adopted and included in its public records the plans, programs or standards required. This item was approved.

An ARPA fund grant application was also approved.  Applications will be accepted from Wayne County, rural fire and rescue departments and the public health department. Applications can be picked up at the county clerk’s office inside the courthouse.

Following a budget work session, the board recessed until Thursday, August 25 at 9 a.m.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, September 6 at 9 a.m.