Jail project moving toward completion

At a special board meeting, the county board voted to contract with Elizabethtown Community Hospital (ECH) to provide medical services for the new jail facility. The county will pay $36,500 for the first year of a three-year contract. Currently services are provided by Dr. Herbert Savel, but Merrihew explained that the increased scale of the jail potentially tripling in size required the services of a larger health provider. Because of the larger numbers we had to take some measure to guarantee coverage, so the county went to ECH and asked for the proposal we received, said Merrihew. County Manager Cliff Donaldson concurred with Merrihew, saying the proposal also included hospitalization. This makes good sense its common sense. We will be needing more comprehensive care at this facility, said Donaldson. Supervisor Jeanne Ashworth was concerned about how often ECH filled its beds, but Merrihew pointed out the hospital is affiliated with CVPH in Plattsburgh. Emergency transfers could be made to that facility. The supervisors voted unanimously to approve the contract, with Merrihew abstaining to avoid a conflict of interest. Supervisors Thomas Scozzafava (Moriah), George Canon (Newcomb), Shirley Seney (North Elba), William Ferebee (Keene), Bob Ashline (Willsboro) and Gerald Morrow were absent. DPW Superintendent Fred Buck informed the Public Works Committee that the jail was expected to be complete in late April or early May, depending on final approval. Considering the cell phone policy The personnel committee also discussed the need for a cell phone policy. Personnel Officer Daniel Palmer said that the installation of the Verizon tower in Elizabethtown made the matter a concern. We didnt need a cell phone use policy until they put the tower up, said Palmer. He cited the capabilities of cell phones to take pictures, voice recordings and text message as potential problems. Palmer has written a policy for the county based on other government and educational policies.

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