The city of Circleville used to pay 50 percent of the advisory’s council funding, and each of the other entities chipped in to collectively cover the other half. After Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy took office, he didn’t think too much of that. He negotiated, and this year, the city’s share dropped to 40 percent.
That means the city now pays $164,000 of the total $ 410,000 that the council gets to fund the department. The rest comes from the other
townships and villages.
But as discussions occurred over time about funding shares, the shift was made to consider an overall levy to allow for improved programming, McIlroy said.
If the plan stays at a 0.5- mill level, the tax would generate a little more than $700,000 for the health department. In turn, as some of the funding burden would shift to property owners, the money collected from the government entities would drop from $410,000 to $205,000.
According to the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, 50 of the health districts in the state currently collect money
from levies. Pickaway County never has collected one.
If the commissioners approve the tax issue, and voters eventually approve it, the health department would be able to serve the public so much better, said Deputy Health Commissioner Jimmie Davis.
He envisions being able to have more full- time nurses, which translates to more immunization clinics and quicker communicable-disease investigations. In addition, the health department currently provides vaccines only for those covered by Medicaid or the underinsured ( because those are state programs). Ideally, Davis said, they should be able to purchase their own vaccines and host mobile clinics for every resident.
“The more in touch we are with clients out in the community, and the more we get to know them, the more they see us as a resource and we can better connect them with other services,” Davis said.
He also would like to run health-education programs in the schools.
“It’s very clear where our gaps are now,” Davis said. “A levy would help us improve and maintain public- health services in this county.”