WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The formal signing of a contract to allow the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to take over clinical services for the Putnam County Health Department was put on hold Wednesday night.Members of Putnam's Board of Health called an emergency meeting to sign documents with representatives from the Kanawha-Charleston agency in Winfield. However, officials with the state Division of Local Health said to speak to them before signing."The chair [of the health board] received a call from the state health department requesting us to contact them before signing the document," said Putnam Commissioner Andy Skidmore, who also serves on the Board of Health.Officials from the state didn't give a reason why they wanted board members to hold off on signing the contract, Skidmore said.
"The [chairperson] tried to call back and left a message, but we decided to talk to them before anything is made official," he said. "Everything is pending now."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.