Sudden move

County leases Rolling Hills building for health department

By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor

The Republic County Health Department hopes to be back seeing clients late this week in a new location after a quick decision to rent the former Rolling Hills Electric facility on US81 Highway.

Republic County Commissioners said the decision was spurred by an estimated $100,000 worth of repairs to the present downtown location, and more problems recently uncovered when a contractor begin to work on the building.

“It’s a pit is what it is,” said Republic County Commissioner Ed Splichal of the current health department building on 18th ST just west of Arbuthnot Drug. “It’s another old building (downtown), and unfortunately we need to make a prudent decision.”

Commissioners said the building continues to leak despite roof repairs. On Monday, the board hit the “pause” button on a contractor already working in the building, saying they did not want to expend any additional cost on the building at this time.

The board directed health department director Danielle White to contract with a cleaning contractor to clean the space at Rolling Hills, and begin to move her department by Tuesday or Wednesday. One of the most important considerations, White said via a phone conference with the board, was to move a refrigerator that is used to store vaccines, which are a costly expense. The refrigerator is hooked to a generator and a warning system in an in the event the power goes out.

The board said they have a one year agreement to rent the south half of the Rolling Hills facility for $600 per month. Rolling Hills linemen continue to use other parts of the building, the shop bays and pole storage to the east.

Commissioners said they might entertain a bid to purchase the Rolling Hills building for the health department, although they said the county agency doesn’t need that large a space.

The building is in a convenient location that is accessible by an access road to Republic County Hospital and the NCK Medical Arts Center, they said.