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Commission considering cheaper contract for morgue

Commissioners heard a new lease agreement between the county and Phoebe that would lower the monthly rate they'd have to pay to lease the morgue. / Mary Green

Last week, Dougherty County commissioners tabled a vote on moving the county's morgue operations from Phoebe Main to Phoebe North.

On Monday, they heard a new lease agreement between the county and Phoebe that would lower the monthly rate they'd have to pay.

This new lease would only have the county pay for the morgue's utilities bill at Phoebe North, which would be about $165, plus a $28 cleaning fee each month, which would bring the monthly rate to about $193.

Before, they were considering a lease that combined those charges, plus rent, to cost the county about $454 each month.

Commissioners will vote on whether to accept this new lease at their meeting next Monday. If approved, Coroner Michael Fowler could begin using the new morgue as early as Dec. 1.

These rates come in addition to one-time fees for equipment and supplies, which total to $13,570.

Fowler said the county needs to move morgues because the recent spikes in homicides and drug overdoses has caused some overcrowding issues at the morgue at Phoebe Main, which the coroner currently shares with the hospital.

Long-term plans call for the county to build its own morgue, which will be funded by money from SPLOST VII.

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