A $1.6 million expansion of the Putnam County Health Department received approval from the county commission Monday.
Commissioners voted to allow Mayor Randy Porter to hire a construction manager not exceeding $850,000. Porter said the state health department will provide the remaining $750,000.
“It has one entrance and one exit, and that presents a problem with them seeing hundreds of people a day, and some of those people not only may have COVID,” Porter said. “They may have tuberculosis. They may have other communicable diseases.”
Porter said additional rooms would be added to the north side of the building specifically for communicable diseases. The $850,000 funding half the project comes from the $15.5 million of American Rescue Plan funding the county will receive.
“The proposal is that we add an addition that would add those additional clinical rooms, isolation/quarantine rooms and waiting area,” Porter said.
Porter said the project also includes a covered canopy over the main entrance. Porter said the area will include fans and heating for healthcare workers offering services in the elements.
“Today, if you drive over there to get your flu shot at the health department, those folks are standing outside in a tent, and they will come to your car and give you your free flu shot regardless of what the weather is. If it’s hot, if it’s cold, if it’s raining they are out there doing that.”
Lastly, medical storage would increase by 1,500 square feet, Porter said. The state funding for the project also comes from the American Rescue Plan. Porter said should the project cost come in higher than estimated, cuts will be made.