WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County Board of Health members have asked the health department's new director to look into filing for emergency financial help.
The board has also requested the state perform an audit of the department's finances -- separate from its routine audit, according to Putnam County Commissioner Joe Haynes, who serves on the health board.
Meanwhile, the Putnam County Commission has loaned the department $30,000, as the agency struggles to pay its bills.
On Tuesday, commissioners decided to begin requesting county agencies funded by the commission -- the health department, parks and recreation, the library and community corrections -- turn in quarterly budgets. Also, an agency representative will be required to present another budget report six months after the annual budget meeting in March.
Joel McKinney, who took over as administrator of the health department around the end of February, reported to commissioners last month that the health department was struggling to pay rent and other bills. Financial problems stemmed from legal fees associated with a wrongful termination lawsuit, he said.
Haynes said board members asked McKinney to look into filing an emergency funding application with the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
It was unclear whether McKinney had made the application, and he could not be reached for comment.
The loan from the county commission is to be used to cover "immediate costs," according to Commissioner Andy Skidmore, who plans to take over for Haynes on the health board in the coming months.
McKinney, who had been a sanitarian at the department, took over for Jackie Fleshman, who had served as the administrator at the health department since 2008. She now works as an educator for nonprofit Mission WV, according to its website.