GUTHRIE CENTER – Supervisors from both Guthrie and Audubon County unanimously approved a 28E agreement over public health services during their regular sessions Tuesday.
Under the agreement, the Audubon County Public Health Department will pay the Guthrie County Public Health Department $75,600 for administrative fees and $40,000 in grant funding over the next six months. The agreement will run through the end of December.
The agreement comes after the two remaining employees for Audubon County Public Health resigned July 1. The county reached out to Guthrie County which has been providing home health services for approximately one year.
Guthrie County Public Health Director Jotham Arber said he had hoped to have the agreement approved during last week’s meeting, but attorneys for both Guthrie County and Audubon County wanted to make sure the wording for an indemnity clause was worded so it would protect each county against liability in the other.
Guthrie County Supervisor Chairman Mike Dickson asked about who would oversee Guthrie County employees when they were working in Audubon County.
“The employees are Guthrie County employees,” Arber replied.
Arber said once this 28E agreement is in place, his office will begin looking at what the specific needs are in Audubon County, including how many employees are needed to carry out the public health mission in that county. He also said that officials from both boards of health would begin working on the next 28E agreement to allow for services beyond Dec. 31.
The other thing Arber said his office would be doing is getting the word out to citizens in Audubon County that public health services were still available.
“We’ll be doing an event at T-Bone Day,” he said. “We’ll start in Audubon and then go to the smaller cities.”
Still pending is approval of the 28E agreement by both the Guthrie County and Audubon County Board of Health. Guthrie County’s board of health meets next on Aug. 4.
Guthrie County IT Director Brian Hoffman had a concern.
“What happens if a Guthrie County laptop is lost in Audubon County and we have a breach of information,” he asked.
Arber explained that each county would maintain their own IT equipment, and that the indemnity clause would protect against liability in that case.