MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Health accepted the resignation of Health Commissioner Dennis Murray at its meeting Wednesday night. The board issued a written statement on the resignation.
“The Knox County Board of Health accepted the resignation of Health Commissioner Dennis Murray during its regular monthly meeting Wednesday night. The resignation is effective immediately. The board will begin an immediate search for a new health commissioner. In the meantime, Pat Tuttle, a retired health commissioner with the Morrow County Health Department, will serve as the interim health commissioner.”
“I was eight years with the Morrow County Health Department as health commissioner,” Tuttle said. “I retired in 2004. I have worked in the health field a total of 16 years. The big thing now is to find a new person.”
Board President Lee Rhoades said the board would have no further comment on the issue except to say the search is its highest priority.
The board heard from health department sanitarian Jim Fridrich that he and Murray had inspected the solid waste nuisance at 11337 Armentrout Road in Berlin Township, and found there was little change in the situation. The owner, David Proper, was under a court order to clean up the property. Proper was ordered to appear in Common Pleas Court on June 1 to show cause why the solid waste had not been cleaned up.
The court imposed a sentence of 30 days in the Knox County Jail, and ordered Proper to appear at the jail on July 1. The court stated the contempt citation could be purged by complying with the previous order. If the order is not purged in the allotted time, the board of health will be permitted to clean up the property at Proper’s expense.
In other news:
•It was reported there hass been no contact with the owner of 26796 Dennis Church Road about a solid waste nuisance at that property. The issue is in the hands of the Knox County prosecutor for further action.
•Fridrich reported a solid waste nuisance at 1396 Oliver Road had been cleaned up.
•Fridrich said Aden Wengerd, the owner of a property at 7661 Quaker Road, was contacted about dead animals in the North Branch of the Kokosing River and a solid waste nuisance on the property. Fridrich said the animals were removed from the river but the solid waste has not been cleaned up. In a meeting May 25 with health department inspector Nate Overholt, Fridrich said Wengard was uncooperative at first and refused to answer any questions. However, he said, another meeting has been arranged for July 1.
•The board approved the temporary increase to full-time status of Cyndie Miller with the WIC Program.
•The board approved the hiring of two peer helpers to work 10 hours a week each in the WIC program.
The next regular meeting of the board is July 28.