Health unit's abandoned equipment should have been shared: City councillor
LONDON, ONT. -- City Hall’s budget chair wants to know why the city and county were not given equal opportunities to re-purpose equipment abandoned by the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).
Councillor Josh Morgan says he's been left with, “Disappointment and a lot of questions.”
Morgan wants to know why the MLHU left so much office furniture, medical equipment and electronics inside its former home at 50 King St.
The abandoned items are now under the control of Middlesex County, the MLHU’s former landlord at the office building.
Morgan believes some of those assets may be useful to City Hall or some of its partner agencies.
“We want (assets) to have the longest possible usable life, whether by that organization or others. I think it’s incumbent on us to ensure that happens.”
The renovations and relocation to Citi Plaza were overseen by a sub-committee of the city's Board of Health.
Chair of the Health Board, Councillor Maureen Cassidy, doesn’t have concerns, “I’ve been assured by staff at the health unit that everything left behind was surplus.”
Cassidy adds that the new location is a smaller, more efficient space that offers flexible work environments for staff.
The board approved the purchase of new furniture.
“The furniture that was left behind, we purchased it 20 years ago, and we purchased it used, and it was about 20 years old when we purchased it, so I doubt there is actual value,” explains Cassidy.
On Tuesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said leaving the items,”transferred equipment from one taxpayer owned organization (MLHU) to another taxpayer owned organization (Middlesex County)."
But Morgan points out that the abandoned items are now in the possession of Middlesex County - not the municipal taxpayers of London.
“To give it all to the county when there are two important partners at play here was not an appropriate decision, and that’s also something the board needs to look into.”
But Cassidy suggests city staff should ask their county counterparts,”If there is a need at the City of London I have no doubt that the city manager will connect with either me, or Chris Mackie, or Bill Rayburn.”
Morgan adds, he’s willing to be patient getting answers in light of COVID-19.
“Being critical of this particular move does not stop us from being 100 per cent supportive of the front-line workers.”