Former health office sold

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

Sztendera Properties is the new owner of the old health department building.

The company submitted the highest of five bids for the property on East First Street.

Members of the Taylor County Board of Health opened the bids at their annual meeting on Thursday at the health department's new location on the North Bypass.

Five bids had been submitted for the property on East First Street and were opened at the meeting. The highest bid was from Roger Sabo on behalf of Sztendera Properties at $289,000. The other four bids were: $190,000, $181,181, $146,000 and $50,000.

According to Board secretary C.T. Britton, the building was appraised at $200,000 several years ago.

After a short discussion about the possibility of a public auction, the Board voted to accept the bid from Sztendera Properties, with Dr. Lora Sztendera abstaining from the vote.

The old health department building was built in 1959, with additions in 1961 and 1992.

In 2005, the Taylor County Health Department Board bought 8.5 acres of land along the Campbellsville Bypass for $205,000. The health department moved from its former location to its new building on the North Bypass this past December.

At 12,200 square feet, the building is more than double the size of the East First Street building, which was less than 5,000 square feet. The new location has more exam rooms, a waiting room that seats three times as many as the previous waiting room and 60 parking spaces.

Smoking resolution

The Taylor County Board of Health also addressed the issue of a smoking ban.

While only the Lake Cumberland District Health Department can institute a regulation that would ban smoking, the local Board had been asked to decide whether it would support such a ban.

In a unanimous vote, all seven Board members voted to adopt a resolution supporting a ban in all public buildings.

Board member Terry Coyle made the motion in support of the resolution, while Marlene Richardson seconded the motion.

"I don't see how we cannot support this," Coyle said.

Shawn Crabtree, executive director of the LCDHD, said the District Board oversees departments in 10 counties, including Taylor. Of those 10, he said, six had passed a resolution in support of a smoking ban. Two county boards (Casey and Green) did not support it, and one (Adair) tabled the issue.

Crabtree said the District Board has the power to pass a regulation that would ban smoking. However, he said he does not believe the Board plans to take any action immediately.

"They're not considering doing that as of now."

The District, he said, could itself choose to adopt a resolution supporting a ban. It could also adopt a regulation that would actually ban smoking, or it could choose to do nothing about the issue.

Thursday's meeting nearly didn't happen. There wasn't a quorum present half an hour after the meeting was scheduled to start. After several phone calls, one additional member was able to arrive late.

Just last month, the Board canceled the meeting scheduled for Feb. 22 because it learned there would not be a quorum at that meeting either. At least seven of the Board's 12 members must be present for a quorum.

Board members present for Thursday's meeting were Sztendera, Dr. Damon Allen, Loretta Hash, Dr. Philip Hays, Terry Coyle, Dr. Marlene Richardson and Terry Dabney.

The five members of the Board who did not attend the meeting were Dr. Thomas Rogers, Dr. Forest Shely, Margaret Taylor, Donald Dabney and Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers.

Other action

- The Board also voted to set its annual tax rate at 4 cents per $100 property valuation, the same rate as last year. The rate is expected to generate $474,359, based on a 95 percent collection rate.

- Shely was re-elected as Board chairman. Others re-elected were Sztendera as vice president, Britton as secretary and Coyle as treasurer.

- Editor Rebecca Cassell can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 227 or by e-mail at editor@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.