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Morning Sun
  • Health department reaches milestone with sign

  • Crawford County Health Officer Janis Goedeke knows that it’s just a sign in front of the health department. But you couldn’t tell that by the smile and excitement as she watched the electronic sign go into place Tuesday morning.

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  • Crawford County Health Officer Janis Goedeke knows that it’s just a sign in front of the health department. But you couldn’t tell that by the smile and excitement as she watched the electronic sign go into place Tuesday morning.
    A year and a week ago, the Crawford County Health Department was moving into its newly-completed addition, which nearly doubled the size of the facility.
    Included in that new facility was a large waiting room, interview rooms, offices, an employee break room, restrooms, a laundry area and showers, storage areas and more.
    “We were killing time before a meeting the other day and we went around the room and everyone talked about what their favorite part of the building was,” Goedeke said. “For me, it’s the parking lot. For them, it’s the increased privacy and compliances. It’s the small conveniences that increase the quality of the environment.”
    Tuesday, the excitement was all about the installation of a new electronic sign in front of the building to help communicate with the public.
    “We’ve been waiting on this for over a year. We’ve been looking for funding and working a design that whole time,” Goedeke said.
    The electronic sign cost in total about $34,000, including installation by Springfield (Mo.) Sign and Neon. Some of those funds, roughly $13,000, came from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Development Grant.
    Goedeke has been telling county commissioners since May 2012 what she’d do with the sign once it arrived, and now the day has come.
    “I think that we’ll get important messages to the public. I think we’ll communicate with the public better, whether it’s a reminder to wash their hands or that the flu vaccine is available,” she said.
    Even beyond that, it’ll help for emergency response.
    “Again, this sign will be invaluable when we have the next emergency. Anyone who drives by will be able to see the information, and this includes out of town visitors/tourists/vacationers who may not know otherwise where to go for assistance. To be able to communicate with the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will be a huge asset to the community,” Goedeke said in an email.
    As for those installing the sign from Springfield Sign and Neon, it took three separate parts to get the sign into place. There was one positive about the job.
    “At least we’re not 100 feet off the ground while we’re doing this,” said Rob Williamson, installer.
    Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.
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