District Health Department No. 4 to temporarily change Atlanta offices
ATLANTA — The District Health Department No. 4 board voted on Tuesday to sign a monthly lease for a new office in Atlanta.
The move followed the July 22 failure of the Health Department building’s roof, making the space hazardous for employees to work in. Ace Hardware and a Michigan Secretary of State office also inhabited the building and were also evacuated over safety concerns.
It remained unclear Tuesday when the damaged building might be fully repaired.
Since the roof failure, the Health Department moved Montmorency County patient appointments to its Alpena office.
Denise Bryan, administrative health officer of the Health Department, proposed the motion to change office spaces temporarily and move to a building on the corner of Main and State streets in Atlanta. She said the owner of the building, Bruno Wojcik, agreed to charge the same as the lease on the current building. The temporary lease will be renewed on a month-by-month basis.
“This has been taking a significant amount of time,” Bryan said. “You’re gonna hear the updates from different departments that are working on different pieces with this.”
Bryan said it’s especially important to get a stake in new land as she said it is unclear when the old building will be fully repaired. She mentioned that, because of heavy rainfall recently, the roof collapsed farther and now the building has major water damage.
Health Department officials are talking with the agency’s insurance company to get full accounts of office damages and to have insurance workers talk with the building owner’s insurance company.
Bryan said that, if the department can’t safely go back to their original Atlanta office space within 60 days, the lease there becomes null and void.
“I told the owner of the building that the board and I always follow the contracts,” Bryan told her board, “and that I indeed have temporary space that I would be looking at simultaneously with a plan for long-term, because I can’t wait to find out on day 59 we’re not getting in. I have to use every one of these days on how to get staff back into a facility in this county to provide services.”
The Health Department hopes to obtain all items of their current office to move into the new location. Department officials say it will take a few weeks to set up their temporary offices, but they expect to open in early September.
In other business
The District Health Department No. 4 board on Tuesday also:
∫ voted to change the District Health Department No. 4 logo; officials will slowly phase out the old logo.
∫ voted to renew Health Officer Denise Bryan’s contract from 2024 to 2029. Bryan did not receive a raise, as District Health Department No. 2, which Bryan also leads, will hold an employee evaluation for a potential raise later in October.
∫ hired seasonal dental professionals to perform preschool and kindergarten oral health inspections for the Kindergarten Oral Health Association.
∫ passed a motion to update annual state training requirements for breastfeeding training.
∫ passed a motion to change the department’s payroll software. Jerry Hillis, finance director of the Health Department, said their current system, MIP, has not been updated since 1998 and that they need modern software. The software, called Sage, from the company ADP, will allow more accurate and user-friendly payroll functions with a base package price of $9,928.