Department Split

The Buffalo County Board voted 11 to 2 to separate the county's emergency management department from health & human services.

The departments connected in 2005 when bioterrorism threats and public health risks were the focus of a regional response plan developed by the former Coulee Region Public Health Consortium.

The agreement was no longer necessary for an "affective partnership" between emergency management and public health, according to Buffalo County Emergency Management Director Steve Schiffli.

The proposal passed with supervisors Don Hillert of Mondovi and John Schlesselman of Fountain City voting against it.

Emergency management will return to being a stand-alone department and report to the Health and Human Services Committee until responsibility is transferred to another committee.

Emergency management is likely to fall under auspices of the board's law enforcement committee.

Schiffli splits full-time job duties between emergency management and supervision of the county's recycling program.

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