A state laboratory at the Houston county health department that was scheduled to be closed because of state budget cuts will remain open. And Houston County commissioners have voted to provide the necessary funding.
However, some services that were once provided locally will now have to be done in Montgomery. The lab once conducted thousands of tests for rabies and sexually transmitted diseases each year, but those will now have to be done in Montgomery.
The lab will remain open to perform monthly bacteria tests on public water systems throughout the wiregrass area and testing wells for local homeowners. Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver says if the demand for the service remains steady, the lab should pay for itself with a little room to spare.
District one commissioner Wylie Yelverton voted against the plan because he wanted water samples to also be tested for chemicals. But, health officials say those tests are too complicated and expensive and will have to be done in Montgomery.