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Commissioners Approve New Overton Health Department

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Commissioners Approve New Overton Health Department

Overton County Commissioners voted Monday night to construct a new health department complex on a 12-acre plot, off Highway 111.

County Executive Steven Barlow said the county will pay some $432,000 for its match of a state grant. He said the grant will cover some $7 million. Barlow said the land behind Tractor Supply provides the county space to grow.

“We have an architect drawing up the plans right now,” Barlow said. “We’ve outgrown the building that we’re in right now and so, they’re getting to add more rooms. and it’ll be a state-of-the-art building.”

Barlow said when grants like these come around, they are hard to turn down. He said the county will use America Rescue Plan funds to pay the grant match. He said the county is waiting for testing and surveying to finish up, but he hopes to break ground by 2025.

“We were able to work with the landowner and get a little more land for what we had to give,” Barlow said.

He said the old building will belong to the county, but there are no plans for it yet. Barlow said the commissioners have discussed the possibility of using the facility as extra space for the Overton County 9-1-1 Department. He said the building is some 40 years old.

“Everything, you know, with the state takes time,” Barlow said. “But as soon as we get this passed, the architect is now drawing up the designs and then it’s all coming along, and it’s all come along a lot faster than I thought it would.”

He said Overton County is one of 11 counties to receive the grant.

In other business, the commission approved a bid to construct the new 3,200-square-foot Monroe Community Center. Commission Chair Darwin Clark said the bid is for $485,000 with a contractor’s fee of 10 percent of the cost to build. He said only one bid was received this round after the county rejected two bids on March 4.

“That’s going to help the community out there tremendously,” Clark said. “We’ve had a pretty old building out there for a long time so that’s going to help. I know the community appreciates it and I do too.”

The commission also approved a bid for a pair of brand-new ambulances for some $426,000 total. He said the vehicles were made for another county that decided not to take them, and both are available for pickup right now. Barlow said the county saved some $67,000 apiece. He said they would both be sent to get striped and have their suspension adjusted. He said ambulances typically take two to three years.

“It was much-needed,” Barlow said. “We’ve replaced six or seven engines this year in the ambulances that we’ve got, so we’re in desperate need for them.”

The commission also appointed a four-member committee to oversee the sale of a property on Taylor Street.


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