BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County commissioners have delayed a decision about whether to waive the competitive bidding process for the purchase of a mobile health unit using $747,500 in Medicaid Maximization funding for COVID-19 response and other health services in the community.
During the board’s pre-agenda meeting on Tuesday, Iredell County Health Director Jane Hinson explained that the county can forego the bidding process because it is a member of the HGACBuy COOP.
Matthews Specialty Vehicles, which manufactures the vehicles, has a contract with the HGACBuy COOP. The Greensboro manufacturer has clients around the world.
The mobile health unit will be staffed with medical professionals and be used for COVID-19 testing, disease screenings, family planning services, immunizations, WIC (Women Infant Children) programs, dental care and more.
Current Health Department staff members would obtain their CDL license to be able to drive and work on the unit.
County Manager Beth Mull explained that mobile health unit would serve county residents who have a difficult time accessing these services.
“This will take the services to the community that does not have that means or mechanism to get to them,” she said.
Commissioner Gene Houpe said he’s heard some concerns from the public that it will be a “shiny toy in the beginning and then set over in the parking lot for some point.”
He asked Hinson to provide more details to the public about all of its uses, the revenue savings and other information.
Commissioner Scottie Brown said that he received a lot of feedback from the public, but would like to have more details regarding the vehicle engine and cost of maintenance.
The cost of maintaining the vehicle could be an issue in the future, he said.
Vice Chairwoman Melissa Neader expressed similar concerns about vehicle reliability and said she wants to make sure the county to gets what it pays for.
The board will revist the request during its September 30 meeting.
Also, during the meeting, commissioners:
• Approved a request from Emergency Communications for approval of appropriating $8,014 of NC911 Funds for Statesville Police Public Safety Answering Point.
• Approved a request from the library for approval to accept a North Carolina Humanities – American Rescue Plan (ARP) Humanities Project Support Grant in the amount of $20,000 to digitize 487 reels of microfilm.
• Approved a request from ICATS for approval of a multi-jurisdictional and agency Memorandum of Understanding for a 5307-formula update.
• Approved a request from ICATS for approval to call for a public hearing on October 5, 2021 at 7 p.m. in regard to Transportation Grants for Fiscal Year 2023.
• Approved a request from Solid Waste for approval to use budgeted overtime funds to hire an additional full-time Equipment Operator/Driver.
• Approved a request from Solid Waste for approval of a lease for the 901 Convenience Center Site.
• Approved a request from the Health Department for approval of expending $115,000 from the Division of Public Health, Agreement Addendum 361 Reopening Schools – School Health Liaison.
• Approved a request from the Health Department for approval of budget amendment to accept and expend a $39,900 Budget Revision for the Division of Public Health Agreement Addendum 466 – Advancing Equity Grant.