Agency expands to Skiatook site

Robert Smith

Larry Bergner, administrative supervisor of the Osage County Health Department, has informed county commissioners that the health department is in the process of setting up an office in Skiatook to offer services to the public.

Bergner did not name the exact building in Skiatook where the health department wants to put in an office, but said there has been an oral agreement about a building. Skiatook is a growing population center in southeast Osage County and residents there have been critical of county officials for not offering more county services there.

Bergner said nothing is “in stone” yet, and he explained that his bosses in the state Department of Health want him to move slowly at first in developing the Skiatook office. He said the hoped-for opening date for the new office will be July 1, which will be the beginning of the next county and state fiscal year.

There will probably need to be a little remodeling on the new building, Bergner said.

“I’m excited about the progress that we’re making,” he said. Bergner and county commissioners have received requests in recent months for more information about services provided by the county health department.

Dan Yancey, city manager for Skiatook, said the city had offered the health department the use of an old senior citizen center at the intersection of State Highway 20 and Javine Road, but that building didn’t work for the health department.

“Obviously the health department has quite a few services they provide that are not readily available to us in Skiatook,” Yancey said, commenting the new location will be a welcome addition. “It will be interesting to see where they’re going to locate.”