VOL. 131 | NO. 8 | Tuesday, January 12, 2016
County Commission Approves Hacks Cross Contract, New Health Director
By Bill Dries
Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Jan. 11, a $223,600 contract for engineering and environmental work on the Hacks Cross Road widening.
The contract with Powers Hill Design LLC is to make Hacks Cross a seven-lane road from Shelby Drive south to Stateline Road, a span of 1.8 miles.
Hacks Cross is already seven lanes north of Shelby Drive.
In a short half-hour session that was the first commission meeting of 2016, the commission also approved a contract of up to $102,000 with the lobbying firm MS Alcorn Venures to lobby for the commission during the Tennessee legislature’s 2016 session that begins Tuesday.
The firm is headed by lobbyist Susie Alcorn, who has been the commission’s lobbyist in Nashville for several years.
In other action, the commission delayed a vote on a $396,000 architecture and engineering contract with BRG3S architects on a new Shelby County Health Department building.
The contract is the start of considering the possible demolition of the existing health department headquarters at 814 Jefferson and the construction of a new facility at the same site.
The existing structure was built in 1950 with additions in 1967 and 1971.
The county estimates it would cost $31 million to renovate the existing building and $19.9 million to build a new facility.
The commission delayed the vote Monday to hear more about the new master plan for the Health Department beyond its headquarters by the administration of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
Alisa Haushalter was approved Monday as the new director of the county Division of Health Services, overseeing the health department.
Haushalter comes to the Shelby County post from Bear, Delaware where she was senior director at Nemours Health and Prevention Services for population health programs for a year and a half of her three years there..
She held a similar position her last four and half years at the Metro Public Health Dept. in Nashville where she held various positions starting in 1983 as a public health nurse I.
Haushalter has a doctorate of nursing practice in public health leadership from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville.
Commissioners also delayed for two weeks a vote on a $273,000 contract to renovate the former forensic center at 1060 Madison Ave. with ANF Architects Inc. for architectural and engineering design services.
The county plans to move the Family Safety Center, currently in leased space in Midtown, to the location further west on Madison, along with the Rape Crisis Center, at a total estimated cost of $3.4 million.
The commission also approved $6,000 in funding to the Young Actors Guild from a fund of $1.3 million the commission set aside at the start of the current fiscal year for project grants.
Each commissioner is allocated $100,000.
The grant to Young Actors Guild by commissioners Eddie Jones and Van Turner brings the total amount of grants made to 24 organizations at $642,000 at the halfway point in the fiscal year.
Most of the grants have been collaborations among the commissioners, often with still other commissioners chipping in amounts from their allocation just before votes on the matters.