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Long Co. Board of Health OKs budget
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The Long County Board of Health had its June meeting Thursday and finances were the key subject on the agenda.
The board approved the fiscal year 2008 budget, despite financial shortages being on paper at this time.
According to Public Health Program Manager Randy McCall, a big reason for the initial shortages are from several unfunded mandates being passed down to the local health departments by the state. One of these mandates was a 3 percent raise to all employees, and an additional raise for nurses to bring their salaries up to at least 75 percent of the current market rate for their counterparts in the private sector. Another increase was in employees’ state health benefits package, which increased by 6 percent.
Coastal Health District Administrator of Finances Brent Jordan said that the preliminary 2008 budget shows an $11,000 increase from last year, but with supported funding, the estimated shortage will be $5,200. However, Jordan followed up by stating that even though there is a shortage on paper, figures currently show that these funds will be covered by other revenue services, and the budget is consistent with last year’s budget.
After a brief discussion the board approved the budget.

In other business:
• The board heard Environmental Health Manager Tiffany Cooper report that she had held a public hearing on the new proposed pool regulations. According to Cooper, the goal was to make the local guidelines more consistent with the other counties in the district. She also reported that there were no negative comments at the hearing. After a brief discussion, the board approved the new pool regulations.
• Cooper also said the county now has two tattoo shops, and that there was a goal of making the body art guidelines more consistent also. These proposed regulations would include body piercing, and also require the age to get a piercing be at least 18. After a short discussion the board voted to establish a date for a public hearing on the proposals.
• Cooper, along with County Nurse Manager Katie Golden, informed the board that they would be leaving the health department to pursue other careers. All present wished them well in their endeavors,
• The board also announced the hiring of a new stroke and heart attack prevention program registered nurse, Angela Hartley and also designated Rebekah Revels to be the interim county nurse manager.
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