COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus City Council is breaking down which services provided by the health department will be moving to its new location.
All services currently reside on Comer Avenue near Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital.
Visitors at the Columbus Health Department are both for and against the move. Clinical and educational services, including some of the bigger programs like WIC, and immunizations where kids go get their shots before school, will be moved from the location on Comer Avenue to the old Virginia College building on Veterans Parkway.
According to Georgia code 31-3-9, Muscogee County has to provide space for the health department.
Clinical and educational services such as the WIC department, Children First, vital records, and immunizations plus some will be moving from it’s current home on Comer Avenue to the old Virginia College building on Veterans Parkway.
“To move this, these offices to another location, I don’t think it’s a good idea for the simple reason this is a central location,” said Louis McGhee.
“Because everyone from this area, they come here,” Gregory Johnson said. "And it’s more convenient for them. So, I believe it’s better for them in this area.”
“It gets congested because sometimes, when you go in the line, it’s wrapped around and you can hardly get through. So, I think a move would be good,” Felicia Hardy said.
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said the move will save taxpayer dollars in the long run because right now, the city rents the building. “By purchasing, you’ve got that debt that is pretty comparable to what we pay in rent, but in 20 years, that debt goes away,” Henderson said.
“But if you’re the person who has transportation issues already and who has a job, today you can get all your services in one building. And if you need to see the doctors at Piedmont Regional’s maternal care clinic, you can walk there. But to get on a bus, even if it’s a shuttle up here and down there, if you don’t have transportation, three miles or four miles may as well be 100 miles,” Tracy Sayers said.
Henderson said there are already more than 30 public transit stops per day in front of the Virginia College building and they plan to make some additions to help ease the move.
One thing to note is the lease agreement for this building states the rent increase would be less than a dollar per square foot to stay at the property.