Warren Free Clinic to receive at least $10,000 from Vance

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 07:25 PM

Commissioners in Vance County entered new territory during a work session Tuesday afternoon that wrapped up their fiscal year 2014 budget discussions.

Vance County will send money to the Warren County Free Clinic, either $15,000 or $10,000, well below the $50,000 that the clinic requested. How much will be finalized before the budget is voted on next Tuesday, June 25.

If Jerry Ayscue and David Beck, the county’s manager and finance director, respectively, can find and reduce $5,000 within the $42.6 million budget, the amount will be $15,000. If not, the commissioners agreed to send $10,000.

Commissioners Archie Taylor and Dan Brummitt did not support any money to the clinic. Gordon Wilder was agreeable to $10,000, and $5,000 more if it could be found without increasing the overall total.

Chairman Tommy Hester was agreeable to the $15,000 figure.

Commissioner Eddie Wright wanted to fund the entire $50,000 request. In an earlier meeting, Terry Garrison and Deborah Brown had expressed support for the full amount, and Garrison in Monday’s meeting had mentioned a $25,000 figure as compromise.

An exchange between Brummitt and Wright escalated.

"We don't need to be in the donation business," Brummitt said.

"If we can't help our own, who can we help?" Wright said.

Clinic representatives, in making their request earlier this month, reported that nearly half of the patients served are from Vance County.

Vance County has a clinic that handles patients on an income-adjusted rate, even as low as $5. The clinic is able to operate and serve Vance County citizens without county taxpayer funding.

Garrison argued that the free clinic’s board advocates regionalization and that perhaps the clinic could include Vance in its name.

County staff found the additional money, but Wilder and other commissioners declined to support cuts in such items at the rescue squad, Crime Stoppers, Lifeline and the Boys & Girls Club.

Taylor balked at any funding, saying that the clinic hasn't kept the kinds of records he wants to see.

"I'm not willing to vote one dollar," Taylor said.


Contact the writer at news@hendersondispatch.com.