By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Quay County Commission has agreed to act as the fiscal agent for the Quay County Health Council as it conducts a community health assessment for Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital.
Presbyterian Healthcare Services agreed to provide $5,000 for the assessment, said Alida Brown, QCHC coordinator.
Brown said the council needs the county to act as the fiscal agent in charge of the money while the council conducts the survey.
Because PHS is providing the money, Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital cannot act as the fiscal agent, said Lance Labine, hospital administrator.
The county will accept the $5,000 and place it as a line item in its budget, said County Manager Richard Primrose, who explained that once the health council has completed the assessment, the county will pay for its services with those funds.
Brown said the council would conduct surveys and hold focus groups and public meetings to gather information from the public. She said the data collected would be compiled to determine what health care services are needed at Dan. C Trigg Memorial Hospital and to determine what health risks the area faces and the needs to address them.
Labine said the hospital and PHS will use the information to prioritize and develop plans to address the issues and health care needs outlined in the assessment.
In the public comments portion of the meeting, Commission Chair Franklin McCasland introduced Chelsie Hannink, representing the Canadian River Soil and Water Conservancy District, who spoke about developing a land use plan.
Hannink said that the district has been working with the Arch Hurley Conservancy District to develop a joint land use plan and would like to discuss a memorandum of understanding to include the county in their efforts. She said the three agencies would be able to cost share the development of the plan.
McCasland said the plan would outline the historic use of the land, showing that it was used in the past as irrigated farm and ranch land. He said due to drought conditions, much of the land had not been irrigated for crops or grazed by livestock.
McCasland said the land use plan could help protect future use and development of the land from restrictions, including the recent legislation to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened/endangered species.
The county has needed to update their land use plan and this would be a cost effective way of doing so, said Mike Cherry, District 3 commissioner.
District 1 Commissioner Sue Dowell asked what kind of weight would a county/state land use plan have against a federal law.
McCasland said with the plan, the federal government would have to recognize the county as a cooperating agency.
Primrose said with the plan in place, the federal government would have to address our plan and explain any decision they may make that would go against that plan.
McCasland also recognized local USDA Wildlife Specialist Ron Jones for receiving a federal recognition for his efforts and success in addressing the feral swine issue in Quay County.
“This award is for the community,” Jones said. “Without the support of the county commission and the livestock owners this would have never been possible.”
Other items before the commission included:
• Approval of Resolution No. 36, the participation in the Eastern Plains Council of Governments for the 2015-2016 fiscal year at a cost of $2,216.
• Approval of Resolution No. 37, the increase to the County Emergency Communication Funds to include the money collected from the gross receipts tax approved by special election in September 2014.