The Jefferson County Well being Division will shut its Excessive Ridge workplace completely subsequent yr.
The Well being Division Board of Trustees voted 4-0 Sept. 22 to shut the workplace, 5684 Hwy. PP, someday between Jan. 1, 2023, and June 30, 2023.
Board members Dennis Diehl, Tim Pigg, James Prater and Suzy Davis voted sure, and Amber Henry was not on the assembly.
That vote adopted the advice of the board’s constructing subcommittee, which incorporates Pigg and Prater.
Well being Division Director Kelley Vollmar stated the workplace, which opened in August 2018, seemingly will shut close to June 30, 2023, somewhat than earlier within the yr.
Vollmar stated the Excessive Ridge workplace will stay open 8 a.m. to five:30 p.m. on Wednesdays till it formally closes.
There aren’t any plans to shut the Hills-boro workplace, 405 Principal St., or the Arnold workplace, 1818 Lonedell Highway, that are open from 8 a.m. to five:30 p.m. Monday by Thursday.
Vollmar stated it prices the Well being Division an excessive amount of to maintain the Excessive Ridge workplace open and staffed.
The Well being Division pays $4,470 a month to hire the 6,700-square-foot Excessive Ridge workplace area from the Jefferson County Library District, Vollmar stated.
She additionally stated it takes six staff to workers the Excessive Ridge workplace.
“It (closing the workplace) was a really troublesome choice to make,” she stated. “We tried to have a look at a few alternative ways to extend numbers over there, in addition to to attempt to discover sustainable staffing, and we simply saved operating into roadblocks,” she stated.
She stated it prices the Well being Division $479.45 for every consumer go to on the Excessive Ridge workplace, in comparison with $54.70 per consumer go to on the Hillsboro workplace, $27.45 per go to on the Arnold workplace and $9.26 per go to on the wellness van.
The lease for the Excessive Ridge workplace requires at the least 180 days’ discover earlier than ending it, Vollmar stated.
She stated no staff might be laid off when the Excessive Ridge workplace is closed. They are going to be relocated to the opposite two places of work or cell items.
Vollmar stated the Well being Division will nonetheless supply providers within the northwest a part of the county after the Excessive Ridge workplace is closed as a result of the wellness van commonly might be accessible on the Excessive Ridge Fireplace Safety District stations, the Peace Pantry in Cedar Hill and different areas in that space.
Vollmar stated she believes the Well being Division might present higher service to the realm with the division’s six cell items within the space.
The Excessive Ridge workplace was certainly one of three guarantees the Well being Division made when it campaigned for and gained voter approval in April 2016 for a property tax improve of three.49 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
The opposite two guarantees have been to rent extra workers and exchange autos and improve tools. Vollmar stated the division has accomplished these guarantees, however it doesn’t make sense to maintain the Excessive Ridge workplace open.
“I simply hope of us will perceive that this choice was not made calmly,” she stated. “Making an attempt to serve the group on that aspect of the nation higher, we see the cell items as a greater entry level.”
Diehl stated when the board determined to open the Excessive Ridge workplace, the Well being Division didn’t have as many cell items because it does now.
“We will use these to go wherever we would like or must go to supply the identical providers, in all probability on a extra scheduled and extra environment friendly foundation,” he stated. “We need to ensure folks perceive we’re not leaving that a part of the county to their very own units.”
The Well being Division plans to interchange its Hillsboro workplace with a brand new, bigger workplace constructing within the Pear Tree Plaza close to the intersection of highways 21 and B in Hillsboro.
Vollmar stated plans for the workplace are nonetheless being created by the Archimage architectural agency, however she hopes to see the brand new workplace open by February 2024 or March of 2024.