Local News

Barry Eaton District Health Department officials gave an update on data they can access and how they use it to the Barry County Commissioners Tuesday, but before the presentation, Citizen Jack Miner spoke, asking the commissioners to remember three things as they listened to the report.


“Thirty five percent of our residents receive some type of Social Security, $55,064 is the average household income in Barry County and six executives of the Barry Eaton District Health Department will cost the taxpayer close to three quarters of million dollars in this fiscal year,” he said.


The health department’s budget is about $6,350,000 and none of the departments under the control of the commission have executive costs that come near those numbers, Miner said.

“You have shared control of the health department with Eaton County and maybe it’s time to reconsider this arrangement.”


In the report, BEDHD Health Officer Collette Scrimger reported a 2016 highlight is that they are a nationally accredited Health Department after achieving accreditation from the Public Accreditation Board.

Anne Barna, evaluation manager, discussed data sources available on the department’s health statistics website, data from surveys for area schools, and phone surveys inside Barry County.

Other  data sources available to the health department include the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Statistics website,  the State of Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth, county health rankings, and the CDC, she said.


The Barry County Community Health Needs Assessment identified Chronic Disease, Mental Health, Obesity, Smoking and Tobacco Use and Opportunities for Physical Activity as top health concerns.


In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

*officially named the former library/post office the Tyden Center for an early influential Hastings businessman, Emil Tyden. A survey on WBCH and the county website showed an overwhelming majority percent of respondents wanted it named after Tyden.


*approved the sheriff’s office upgrading technology with 10 new Kustom Signals Raptor speed radar detectors from low bidder Kustom Signals for $17,420.


*accepted the taxable value report for the county from Timothy Vandermark, equalization director.


* approved the 2018 budget calendar with specific dates for each step in the process from May to Oct. 24, 2017.


*approved the Office of Community Corrections 2018 grant application to the state for a total of $100,073. 









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