The Monroe County Health Department will relocate later this year from its current office at 901 Illinois Avenue in Waterloo to a large office building at 1312 Jamie Lane, which is next door to the driver services facility and across from BoBeck’s Sports Bar & Grill.
The purchase contract was signed Thursday, health department director John Wagner confirmed, with the final purchase price for the building being $742,000.
Funds from the health department’s reserves will be used to buy the building and make necessary alterations.
The building will add some 2,000 square feet to space available to house Monroe County government operations.
Wagner said the project is being paid for by money that has been built up by prudent management in past years.
“There will be no new tax requirements placed on county citizens for this purchase or for foreseeable future of operations,” he emphasized.
Wagner said Quadrant Design of Waterloo will draft plans to make necessary changes to accommodate his department’s needs.
“We are avoiding plumbing changes, as the building is built on a slab, and any of those kinds of changes would require extensive, expensive work,” he said. “But we will move some walls to ensure functional spaces that continue to provide client privacy as well.”
In addition to the health department’s move, Wagner said the Monroe County Coroner’s Office will also occupy space in the new building.
“Not a lot of people are aware the coroner has been a resident in our spaces for more than a decade, and he’s going to go with us,” he said.
In addition to meeting health department and coroner’s office needs, the new building will have room for a moderate-sized conference room that will be available for other county agencies and civic organizations for training and meetings, Wagner said. It will be available to schedule for uses after normal work hours as well. This will help accommodate space needs that arose after the Monroe County Courthouse was locked for security after normal working hours.
Quizzed about future changes, Wagner said they are predicated on if and when state health funding stabilizes.
“It hasn’t increased in 15 or more years,” he said. “So, we have to wait to see where that will go. I have been adamant about not spending every penny we have. But we would like to expand into some dental services that would be targeted at reducing children’s dental problems. That would include dental teeth sealing. This procedure can be very beneficial in preventing early decay and advancing overall dental health.”
Wagner said it is hoped the health department will be moved in by this fall.
For more information on the Monroe County Health Department, call 939-3871 or visit http://monroecountyhealth.org.