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Funding Request Submitted To Board Of Supervisors

By Staff | Dec 30, 2010

A budgetary request was one of the items heard by the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during its final meeting of 2010 on Dec. 21. Supervisors also visited with Palo Alto County Recorder Bonnie Whitney over potential changes in the issuance of passports during the session.

Peg McNally, Director of Palo Alto Community Health Services and Tom Lee, Administrator of the Palo Alto County Hospital, appeared before the board to present the annual report of the hospital and Community Health’s efforts during the year.

Lee reviewed the year for the hospital, which was highlighted by the completion of the multi-year construction project and renovations to the facility.

“Our numbers were down in the past year,”?Lee told the board. “It was a pretty tough year for us, because people were hit hard by the economy. But, our patient numbers are coming up in the first four months of our fiscal year. Our radiology department numbers are up and things are looking more optimistic for the coming year, but yet, we need to continue to be careful with our budgeting so that we can maintain our services.”

Lee noted that the hospital has purchased a new 32-slice CT?scanner in the radiology department, and that PACH had received $127,000 in grants through the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation, with the biggest chunk, $92,000 being directed towards the purchase of a new ambulance.

McNally reviewed the efforts and services of Community Health, and noted that the budget asking for the upcoming fiscal year would be the same amount, $61,000, as was funded last year by the supervisors.

“We’re receiving $39,000 less in grant funding from the federal and state government, but we are asking for no change from you,”?McNally assured the supervisors, who took the request under advisement.

County Recorder Bonnie Whitney reported to the board that the state is considering removing the issuance of passports from Recorders’ Offices for reasons of security.

“They want to separate the birth certificates from the same person who does passports,”?Whitney explained. “They’re afraid a person could fake a birth certificate and then get a passport. So, they don’t want the same person to do both. Their idea is to move passports out of our office to another office.”

According to Whitney, she had visited with County Treasurer Mary Hilfiker, and they had determined the idea would not work between their offices. That left the Assessor’s or Auditor’s offices.

A suggestion was made to have members of those office staffs learn the procedure and be able to process the applications from the Recorder’s office.

“That might work,”?Whitney agreed. “Nothing is set in stone on this yet, but I?really don’t want to see our office lose the passports.”

“I?agree,” noted Supervisor Ed Noonan. “I’d like to see us find a way to keep that service local.”

In other business, the board introduced and approved a resolution of support for a PACGDC?Grant for the Highland Township Cemetery Association and also approved the support of a grant application for the Palo Alto Gun Club for improvements to their facility at Sportsmans’ Park.

The board also introduced and approved a resolution of support for?grant application for funding assistance for plumbing work at the Palo Alto County Jail on a unanimous vote.

A mini-grant application from the Sheriff’s Reserves was also approved by the board on a 4-1 vote, with Board Chair Jerry Hofstad casting the lone “nay” vote on the motion.