Harlan Co. officials to study feasibility of withdrawing from CVD Health Dept.

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials in one eastern Kentucky county authorized a feasibility study regarding the possible withdrawal from the Cumberland Valley District Health Department.

Ken Fiser, a financial consultant for health departments in more than one dozen counties, was hired Monday night by the Harlan County Board of Health to conduct the study.

The vote was unanimous.

"We feel that there are reasons to go and reasons to stay," board chair Newton Guy said. "We just want more information so we can make a better decision regarding what's better for our citizens and employees."

Harlan County Judge Executive Joe Grieshop is in favor of the county dropping out of the district and joining with neighboring Bell County.

They are adjacent to Harlan County and have the same type of issues," Grieshop said. "We can help each other and we can gain strength from them. What we would lose from the Cumberland Valley Health District we could gain by partnering with Bell County in some fashion."

But the district's acting director, Lynette Renner, hopes Harlan County stays.

"I think the district does have a lot to offer,' Renner said. "We do the payroll, we do accounts receivable, we do manage insurance and benefits."

A timetable has not been set for Fiser's feasability study.

The final decision to withdraw from the district is up to the Harlan County Fiscal Court.

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