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Board reorganizes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Members of the Northeast Colorado Board of Health reorganized during their Jan. 26 meeting, welcoming new Washington County Commissioner Terry Hart.

Hart replaces outgoing Washington County Commissioner Bruce Johnson. In addition, the board appointed Morgan County Commissioner Laura Teague as the new president for 2011, retained Sedgwick County Commissioner Gene Bauerle as vice president and Logan County Commissioner Jim Edwards as secretary.

Moving through the meeting agenda, board members learned the cease and desist order they issued last month for an onsite wastewater violation in Washington County has been complied with and the land has been cleaned up.

The order was issued during a public hearing on Dec. 15, 2010, to a landowner who had moved two mobile homes onto his property without installing a septic system.

As the land owner was living in one of the trailers, he was dispensing effluent inappropriately from his home, a direct violation of the Northeast Colorado Health Department’s Onsite Wastewater Regulations.

According to the landowner, he was initially unaware he needed to obtain a permit and install a septic system, but that he would take the responsibility to clean up the land. At that time, he also requested the $600 septic permit fee he paid be given back to him as he never installed a system and was selling the land and vacating the property.

In December, board members gave the landowner 30 days to come into compliance with the order and voted to retain the permit fee as financial assurance that the land would be cleaned up for the subsequent landowner.

According to Carmen Vandenbark, NCHD’s interim environmental health director, the land was inspected Jan. 24 by NCHD staff and was determined to be cleaned up appropriately. In addition, Vandenbark informed the board the land had changed ownership and the new owner was aware of the circumstances.

After hearing no objections from the board, she said she would begin processing the former landowners’ refund of the $600 permit fee.

In other business the board:

—approved a revision to the agency’s 2011 budget. According to John Crosthwait, NCHD’s district public health administrator, the revision was necessary due to the receipt of several mini grants as well as an underestimate of the revenue in one of the environmental health programs. The revision increases the agency’s budget from $2,617,993 to $2,732,838.

—approved several changes to the agency’s personnel policies, including changing the payday from the first to the 10th of the month, prorating holiday pay for part-time employees and reducing employee breaks from two 20-minute breaks per day to two 10-minute breaks.

—discussed an idea presented by Trish McClain, NCHD’s client health director, on the possibility of NCHD providing tuition assistance for staff. After much input the board asked NCHD management to put together a formal proposal and present it to the board at a later date.

—moved into executive session to discuss the performance evaluation of the district public health administrator. After emerging from the executive session the board reconvened and voted to accept the evaluation and directed the chairman of the board to sign off on it.

—voted to pursue creating a new position that would serve as an executive assistant to the public health administrator. The board advised Crosthwait to develop the job description for the new position and bring it back to the board for approval and a determination of how to fund it.