MOUNT VERNON — The declaration of two properties to be public nuisances was approved when the Knox County Board of Health met Wednesday evening at the Knox County Health Department.
The two addresses in question were 901 W. Burgess St., Mount Vernon, and 17821 Shady Lane, Pike Township, Butler. Environmental Health Director Nate Overholt explained that the Burgess Street residents are in the process of being evicted, and the case is also being handled by the Mount Vernon Dilapidated Buildings Commission. There is no water service at the house, with many broken windows and solid waste piled in the back yard. Children Services has also been contacted about the situation. “We felt it was very important, especially with children, to declare it a public health nuisance,” said Overholt.
The situation with the house on Shady Lane was brought forward from the Knox County Commissioners. The vacant house is under foreclosure, has been vandalized, has broken windows and solid waste scattered around the property. Overholt believes this house may be a candidate in the Moving Ohio Forward grant demolition program.
Overholt also explained a decision made following an annual inspection he attended Tuesday at The Curtis Inn with the Ohio State Fire Marshal. After citing many health and fire safety concerns, the decision was made to close the restaurant and east portion of the hotel. “As far as the health department goes, I wouldn’t say there was anything that was an immediate public health threat,” said Overholt. “However, there were numerous issues with fire safety.”
Overholt also shared information from a meeting he attended on fracking, stating that more extensive laws will be coming in the future. “There will be a required baseline water sample taken within a radius of 1,500 feet around the drilling sites,” said Overholt. Further updates on these regulations will be forthcoming.
Contracts approved Wednesday evening were for a radon grant of $5,100 from the Licking County Board of Health; a homecare consulting, home health policy and procedure manual, and consulting services with Kenyon College at $4,000; and insurance billing services with CSI Network Services for October 2012 through September 2013.
Also approved were the hiring of Jackie Stabile as a WIC health professional and the amendment of the skin testing section of agency personnel policy and procedure manual to reflect the need for a two-step TB skin test upon hire only.
Health promotions director Pam Palm announced that information has been advertised recently concerning the health department levy on Nov. 6. She shared information about the current status of the health department and what could be accomplished with passage of the levy.
Medical clinic director Jackie Fletcher said that activity at the clinic is going well, and there is great feedback being received from patients. “But we do need more help in running the clinic successfully,” said Fletcher. “Today, we counseled nine patients; and if it gets any busier, there is no way we can operate the clinic with the staff we have.”
Work is being done on building a Facebook page, said WIC director Tami Ruhl. This will allow for information and questions to be posted, all in confidentiality. “This will help us because most of our clients text and Facebook more than they use phones, and we’ll be able to contact them for their appointments and reminders,” said Ruhl.
Filling in for absent health commissioner Julie Miller was director of finance Linette Vance who stated that options are being pursued for the health department’s independent health insurance. Information has been being gathered by staff members, and a proposal is expected in the coming months.
Contact Alan ReedEmail
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.