Commission Rejects Health Department's Request For Funds
The state has already given the health department $700,000 from the 1997 tobacco settlement for the project. Not only did the Commission reject the request for extra funding, they're not even going to allow the state's funds to be used for the project. If the extra room is added to the health department - even if the state paid for the entire building process - Alachua County would have to foot the bill for building maintenance. Today the Commission made it clear - they're not willing to do that.
The Commission asked health department officials why money was being put towards a building addition and not towards smoking prevention materials. Public Works estimates that maintenance fees for the addition would be around $100,000 per year, and that was a deal breaker.
"I guess if you look at the cost benefit on that that just didn't seem to be a good use of county tax payer dollars," said Commissioner Rodney Long.
The jury's still out on how the health department will use the $700,000 from the state or if they'll even use it at all. The State Legislature originally gave the money to the health department for the specific purpose of building a conference room for the classes.
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