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Lee County looking to build new health center

Garry Seyb
Lee County
courtesy photo
Garry Seyb

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to build a new headquarters for the county’s health department on nine acres of donated land west of Fort Madison.

Plans call for constructing a 15,000-square-foot building to house the health department and Emergency Management System. The building would provide new office space for the county health department’s 30 employees and space for up to four ambulance bays. Emergency vehicles will have access to major roads.

“It's just really nice,” Lee County Supervisor Garry Seyb said. “The ambulance will have access there to the Highway 61 and then good streets getting to the rest of the county as well. So, it's just a win all the way around.”

Seyb said the county would commit $5.4 million for the project. Some of that funding will come from $3.7 million the county has received from the federal American Recue Plan Act (ARPA).

The county would issue bonds for any additional funding for construction.

Seyb, who also serves as the board’s ARPA Committee chair, said the ARPA funds must be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026.

He said the county is working with a construction company in Burlington to begin designing the proposed building.

Seyb said the county has been talking about constructing a new building for the county health department for 20 years.

“There's been a couple of different pushes to build a health department building in the last two decades or more,” Seyb said. “They've never come to come to pass, at this point.”

The county health department has been leasing a portion of the former Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison for the past five years. The monthly rent increased to $7,500 on July 1.

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