The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Public health department is getting ready to move


August 6, 2020

Michele Smith

This 1934 Pueblo revival style building at 112 North Second Street, is undergoing a full-scale interior remodel and should be ready for the County's Public Health Department to occupy by the end of the year. The building has been used for many years to treat medical patients, first those of Dr. William W. Day II, then those of Dr. Donald Pittman, and finally, those of Kathleen Casseday, ARNP, until she retired in 2018.

DAYTON-What better location for the County's Public Health Department than the building on North Second Street, which has been a medical clinic, serving Dayton residents, since the 1930s?

"I think it's going to be a great move for the community," said County Public Health Director Martha Lanman standing inside the building at the end of July.

When the full-scale interior remodel is finished, there will be enough room for all the Health Department staff. Some of the team are working at the County Planning and Building office because there isn't enough room in the current Public Health Department on Main Street to meet social distancing requirements for COVID-19.

There will be two ADA compliant bathrooms, a conference room, a small kitchenette that can be used for SNAP education, office space for WIC, and YWCA, along with a children's play area, and offices for nurses and administrative staff.

"It will be great to have all my staff in one building," Lanman said.

The County paid $110,000 for the building in Aug. 2019, according to Columbia County Facilities Manager Dave Finney.

It cost an additional $18,356 to have asbestos-containing vermiculite insulation in the attic and walls and several areas of wallboard removed.

Finney said that was to be the end of work on the project until a future budget cycle. But when the cost was discovered to be an allowable expense under federal CARES Act grant funding, the county commissioners decided to proceed. They are using $210,000 from that grant.

So far, the building interior has been taken completely down to the studs. Next, the new layout for office spaces will be framed in. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are being removed and will be replaced.

The County is currently leasing a building on Main Street for $1,200 each month, to house the health department. Commissioner Mike Talbott said there will be a substantial cost savings for the County when the new building can be occupied.


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