WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Two people were appointed to the Putnam County Board of Health on Tuesday, filling all the vacancies on the beleaguered health board.
Putnam County commissioners appointed Bryan Escue and Michael Keiffer to serve on the health board, starting Tuesday. Their terms will expire in 2016.
Escue and Keiffer will join current board members Jim Dillon and Ryan Lockhart, as well as County Commissioner Andy Skidmore, who was appointed to the board July 1. County Commission President Joe Haynes resigned his seat on the health board June 30.
The county's health department is more than $215,000 in debt. Health board members voted last month to lay off 12 full-time staff members and contract its clinical services with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
According to Skidmore, the board will call a special meeting in the near future to move forward with the Putnam health department's financial recovery.
"Everyone knows about the problems that are out there and some of what caused them, and now we're working on solutions to get them fixed," said County Commissioner Steve Andes.
Last year, the County Commission gave the health board $150,000, in quarterly payments. County Manager Brian Donat said the County Commission would now request a list of vendors from the health board and pay bills on behalf of the Putnam health department directly.
"We'll let the health department come up with their priorities and how they want to pay those debts off, but for our donation, we need to figure out what to do to get it right and fix it," Andes said. "We'll go from there, and not let it fester."