When the county began discussing having its own morgue at the end of last year, they didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find somewhere to put it. In November of 2012, Logan County Coroner Mary Givens was able to obtain a three drawer cooler from a grant. This was the first step in having a morgue, however, finding a place to put it has proven to be harder than getting the equipment.
The city of Russellville stepped in quickly offering space in an old maintenance building located in the Maple Grove Cemetery. This is currently where Givens does business, but it won’t be permanent if Givens has any say. According to the coroner, who is grateful to the city’s help, the space is too close to the street, and the much needed privacy of families coming in requires more discreet measures. There is also an issue with the lack of running water in the building.
Givens has been very vocal to the fiscal court about needing another place to do her job. She would like the county to either build or purchase a building to house the morgue.
At Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting Givens mentioned the dilemma once again, and added that she now has a lot of new administrative responsibilities handed down from the state which requires a more permanent place to call home. According to Givens, she is having to keep some of her supplies in her bedroom at home. This is not practical, says Givens.
The county was looking at partnering with Logan Memorial Hospital, who actually shared their cooler with the coroner for years if needed before the county got its own cooler. But placing a permanent office at the hospital for the coroner would be to difficult with all of the hospital’s regulations. “They have been very helpful,” said Givens of the hospital.
Judge Executive Logan Chick told Givens Tuesday he would continue to look for space. In the meantime, magistrate Thomas Bouldin suggested utilizing an office in the historic courthouse. Givens, who was discouraged, said she guessed she could travel to one more location since she had been doing that for some time now.