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Board of Health members Dr. Joel A. Wells and Penny Fetters were in attendance at the March 7 Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss possible relocation options for the Wayne County Public Health offices.

“We are within four months of losing our residence at the dental clinic here in Corydon,” began Dr. Wells. “We been looking at the Senior Meal Site and we started also looking at the Christian Church here in town as possible solutions to our needs for a place to do business. After exploring both options and considering we have four months left, we met on the 3rd with members of the Christian Church and I think the majority of opinion of the Board of Health presents that building represents the best solution for us moving forward.”

In an earlier meeting held by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 22, the board entered closed session where discussion was held regarding a possible land transaction. It was on March 9 in a special meeting held by the supervisors where it was disclosed to the public an offer of $200,000 had been presented to the board members representing the First Christian Church for the purchase of the building that could become the new home for Wayne County Public Health and all other health services the Board of Health oversees.

First Christian Church Board Members Robert Michael and Marilyn Goughnour were in attendance at the special meeting on March 9 to discuss the possible real estate transaction.

“Our board met and they were really in favor of going with the county and Department of Health, so we will accept your offer,” stated Goughnour when speaking to the supervisor board.

Wayne County Public Health Director Shelley Bickel stated she would need to look at the building again but felt it was perfect for their offices to move into. She stated a wall would need to be renovated to place a window with glass for those entering as they first walk in as well as replacing carpet with tile floor in possibly two offices and a possible bathroom renovation, but felt the remaining areas would require little to no changes.

Supervisor Dave Dotts noted, Public Health would need to relocate as of July 1.

“They are expanding services and they need our part to expand dental services which is another good thing for our county,” stated Bickel.

“Another thing to point out is this is really a new era for public health in this county,” added Dr. Wells. “It’s mandated that we have a Board of Health and the Board of Health has a mission that’s pretty well specified that we promote the health and welfare of this community. We do that in many ways but we’ve rented from the hospital for many, many years and then we went to the dental clinic, we’ve never really had a home before. This is our first home ever, it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to continue our mission.”

The church located on the east side of the square, near the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Wayne County Courthouse dates back to the 1800’s. Moving forward, the Board of Supervisors will work with the Board of Health, and Bickel as well as the board from the First Christian Church to iron out all details in the real estate transaction.

A public hearing has been set for Monday, April 4 for this real estate transaction to move ahead with the hopes of public health being able to take ownership by May 1 to allow the necessary short list of renovations to be completed in time to meet the July 1 move out date of public health’s current location.

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