Atkinson Co. Health Department moving back into new building - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Atkinson Co. Health Department moving back into new building

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Donna Smeltzer Donna Smeltzer
Travis Ursrey Travis Ursrey
New laminate flooring that was put down in place of the old carpet New laminate flooring that was put down in place of the old carpet
One of the thermostats in the health department, which have all been pre-set to control the temperature and the moisture in the building One of the thermostats in the health department, which have all been pre-set to control the temperature and the moisture in the building
ATKINSON COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

On Friday, the Atkinson County Health Department in Pearson will finally be back in its new building on Albany Avenue.

In August of 2013, the department was forced to move out of the new building and back into its old building off of Austin Avenue while the county worked to remove mold from the new building.

"The community's all excited and the staff's all excited to get back in one locations so all the services that the health department does can be done in one location," said Donna Smeltzer, Managing Nurse for the Atkinson County Health Department.

Smeltzer explained that the old building does not provide the same amount of space that the new building does. Consequently, some of the health department's services had to be transferred to other locations until the health department moves back into the new building. Residents who needed these services had to travel to these various locations instead of being able to go to one central location.

Atkinson County's Vice Commissioner Chairman, Travis Ursery, said the county started working to remove the mold from the new building about three weeks ago, after months of taking bids from various companies for the mold removal process. 

"The first thing we done was have the air conditioners checked and reset," Ursrey said.

"The fans had been on and it was pullin' in all the moisture. That's what caused the mold," Ursrey added. "Then we had Servpro come in and take out the carpet."

Ursrey pointed out that carpet isn't supposed to be in health centers, and he doesn't know why it was put in when the building was built.

"We really don't know. I think it was just somethin' nobody really knew about," Ursrey explained.

Terri Morris, Atkinson County Commissioner Chairman, said on the phone that he wasn't sure why the health department had begun to move back into the new building though, because the county had not yet voted to allow them to do so.

Ursrey said though that the county faxed the proper paperwork to the regional health department after the cleaning of the new building was done, and the regional health department gave the county health department permission to move back in.

The Atkinson County Health Department will be open for business in its new building from 8-5 on Friday and will resume normal business hours in the building on Monday, January 10.

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