DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The De Pere City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to keep its health department around, despite last month’s 3-2 recommendation by the De Pere Health Board to disband.
Council members felt the cost of nearly $5 per home valued at $100,000 was a value for residents to keep local health services around.
Right now there are numerous vacancies in the department and the move would save the city $83,000 annually.
Brown County Health would have take over services, which was a concern for council members.
Alderman Dan Robinson says while they would gain services, they would also lose unique services that the city provides and the county would not.
The county doesn’t provide programs like school vision and hearing programs and prenatal and parenting classes.
Alderman Kevin Bauer was worried about the relationships developed over the years with organizations like St. Norbert College, which would not exsist anymore after disbanding.
There was also a fear that if the city health department disbanded, there was no turning back.
Current state law would not allow it. Back in 2005, residents came out in favor of keeping the unique health department. The meeting saw no residents come out to testify in favor or against, except stakeholders.
The advantage of local services and local solutions could be echoed in comments from of the council members.