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Health chief being sought

By Staff | Jul 23, 2008

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to advertise to fill the vacancy of the Emmet County Public Health Administrator Karen Moritz who has submitted her resignation effective in August.

The decision came after Bill Bumgarner, CEO of Avera Holy Family Health, indicated that the hospital would likely prefer not to take on the extra duties now done by public health.

Bumgarner said while there are many areas in Iowa where public health is a function of the hospital, those areas are generally where there is a county hospital. If the hospital took on the job, he said it would increase the subsidy that Avera provides to home health care. While he favored collaboration between Avera and county health, Bumgarner said the hospital would likely not be willing to take over the duties and function of county health.

Supervisor Jim Jenson moved the board authorize the Emmet County Board of Health to advertise for the position.Supervisors approved.

In other business the board approved reappointment of Wayne West to the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Authority Board.

The board also approved utility permits for Iowa Lakes Electric Co-op in Section 24 of Emmet Township and for Iowa Lakes Regional Water for 12 locations in High Lake Township.

In his road report, Emmet County Engineer Roger Patocka said crews had finished replacing concrete plank on the Rosburg bridge last week. He said crews were cleaning ditches, blading and hauling gravel and that gravel crushing was nearly completed.

The board also discussed concerns with rail crossings east of Gruver. Patocka said a 1994 agreement for maintenance of the crossings had never been signed.