From security concerns, to questions over how to handle the utilities, Panama City commissioners have been debating for weeks how to move forward with the AD Harris health clinic. The commission may have arrived at a solution to those problems Tuesday night.
The clinic is set to be an ER diversion clinic, taking the traffic away from the areas emergency rooms. It's set to be housed in two classrooms at the AD Harris Learning Village in Glenwood. In the arrangement, the Bay County Health Department would operate and run the clinic, and the Bay Health Foundation would pay the lease - about $10,000 a year for three years.
The clinic would be the first of what they hope to be many tenants at the Learning Village, so the commission wanted to set some ground rules. That's where the security and utilities come in.
The health department says they will provide security for their clinic as needed, as will other tenants for their own spaces. As for the utilities, commissioners were tasked with figuring out how to deal with the water and electricity for multiple tenants.
They may have found a solution: a sub-meter.
"A sub-meter works in such a way that we can have an account set up for each tenant off of the meter," said Community Redevelopment Agency Director William Whitson. "Once the meter is set up and the account is set up then the charge or the usage can be properly allocated."
The CRA agreed to take on the costs for setting up the system. So with the lease agreement approved and the utilities and security issues close to being finalized, Whitson says the hope is that the clinic will be open in the next few months...no later than January.