Monday November 30th, 2015 5:34PM

HCC approves employee health clinic

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioners Thursday night voted to establish a county employee health clinic and pharmacy in the former East Hall Library building in Rabbit Town and invited the City of Gainesville to be a partner.<br /> <br /> Human Resources Director Bill Moats said both the city and county would save money but the county would save less by partnering.<br /> <br /> "There are savings to be realized with both the pharmacy and the clinic for both of us," Moats said. "The City gains more by partnering with us, we just don't gain as much."<br /> <br /> Moats said the clinic could guard against escalating health care costs expected to rise from eight to 10 percent annually and an alternative is needed.<br /> <br /> The vote was predictable, 4-1 in favor, with Commissioner Jeff Stowe, whose district covers the city, opposed. He said at Monday's work session he supported the clinic but would not support the county's separate facility when partnering with the city would save money.<br /> <br /> "I will not vote for this because I'd rather move forward with the City of Gainesville at greater savings even though I'm in favor of moving ahead with this project," Stowe said.<br /> <br /> In a Thursday morning statement Mayor Danny Dunagan also said the City wanted to partner with Hall County with the savings from a joint clinic location at the city's current health clinic.<br /> <br /> Commissioner Craig Lutz made the motion to create the county employee clinic that included Commissioner Scott Gibbs' amendment inviting Gainesville to participate at the East Hall location.<br /> <br /> "I would offer a friendly amendment to allow Gainesville to participate going forward," Gibbs said.<br /> <br /> Gibbs added the city could participate in the pharmacy, the clinic, or both.<br /> <br /> "I believe they could see a tremendous amount of savings even if they came in on the pharmacy side which is really just two exits up the road from them," Lutz said.<br /> <br /> Lutz set a $60,000 limit to convert the library building into a clinic and pharmacy. Lutz and other commissioners said they preferred the Rabbit Town library location because it was a much newer building, with a bigger parking lot, and more room.
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