By LOU WILIN
Findlay and Hancock County are ready to try again to combine their health departments.
Officials from the city and county appear ready to split the $34,000 cost of a consultant to develop a merger plan. City Council’s Appropriations Committee on Tuesday recommended council spend $17,000 for the help of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.
The District Advisory Council, which oversees the county Health Department, also has accepted the consultant, Mayor Lydia Mihalik said.
The Hospital Council will meet with the staffs of the two departments over the next four months, evaluating and developing budgets, examining space and staffing needs and compensation, Mihalik said.
The plan seems to be for the city Health Department to move in with the county office at 7748 Hancock County 140. But in case the health departments must locate elsewhere, Mihalik asked that an additional $3,000 be appropriated. The Appropriations Committee approved that additional spending.
“We’re finally at a point where we’ve ironed out some of the issues that had prevented the initial merger of the health departments a couple years ago,” Mihalik said. “We have conquered the stumbling blocks and the hurdles that had originally caused the deal to fall through. These are really just details that need to be worked out in terms of the operation of a combined or merged health department.”
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