County Council takes no action on health department request

A request from the Bartholomew County Health Department for an additional appropriation to make a part-time nurse a full-time position made no traction at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Bartholomew County Council. The department requested $25,328 to cover the additional costs that would be incurred for this year by making the change. Health department staff point to a marked increase over the past three years in HIV testing and STD investigations as a major reason for the request. Council members agree that the need may be real, but now is not the time to request a new full-time position. Councilman Mark Gorbett explains. The request for an additional appropriation failed to garner a motion at Tuesday night’s meeting. Gorbett says the council needs more data. Council members say that, as of now, they are anticipating that department heads will be asking for 11 new positions across government. They stress that there is no way the county can afford each request, as they would cost an additional $700,000 to $1 million annually. Gorbett says that work on next year’s budget begins in earnest in late July or early August.

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