BOARD OF HEALTH
June 3, 2004
The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Health of the Township of Mahwah, held at the Municipal Offices, 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah NJ, was called to order at 8:03 PM by President, Wendy DeSilva. The Opening Statement was read according to the Sunshine Law and was followed by Roll Call.
PRESENT: Mrs. DeSilva
ABSENT: Mrs. Tracey
PROFESSIONALS: Mr. Romans, Attorney
Mr. Hopper, Health Officer
Mrs. Homler, REHS
Mrs. Campbell, Acting Secretary
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Moved by Mr. Ackerman and, seconded by Mr. Harris that the minutes of the regular meeting of May 6, 2004 be approved.
Mr. Romans advised that Mr. LaMontagne (and not Mr. Romans) had moved to approve the Health Officer’s Report which was then seconded by Mr. Romans (not Mr. Wasson) at the May meeting.
There being no further discussion or corrections, the minutes were approved as corrected by all present.
APPROVAL OF HEALTH ACTIVITIES REPORT
Moved by Mrs. Spiech and, seconded by Mr. LaMontagne that the Health Activities Report be approved.
Mrs. Spiech questioned if there were 17 confirmed cases of Lyme disease this past month. Mr. Hopper explained no; there are several tests required for each case, and each result sent to us is included in our monthly report. The Health Activities Report will be amended to read “Communicable Disease Reports Processed”
to eliminate confusion on this statistic. At year end, Mr. Hopper can provide statistics for actual positive cases.
Mrs. DeSilva requested additional information on the conditional rating for Prime Time Early Learning Center. Mrs. Homler stated that her inspection yielded 5 or 6 pages of violations including some structural problems and poor maintenance. Mrs. Homler has met with the owners who are cooperating in bringing the Center back up to Code.
Mrs. DeSilva also requested additional information on the conditional rating of State Line Diner. Mrs. Homler explained that prep tables were being used in unapproved areas, there were cross-contamination issues, improper cooling of food products and lack of soap at the hand-washing stations – all potential causes of food borne illness. Mrs. Homler continued that both language/cultural differences and the transient nature of the staff made it difficult to establish and maintain consistent safe food handling procedures. Mr. Ackerman agreed, but stated that these were management issues. Mrs. DeSilva wanted to know if the establishment had been fined. Mrs. Homler replied that State Line had been fined in the past, and would be again if, upon re-inspection, there is no appreciable improvement.
Mr. Ackerman wanted to know where/when the unsatisfactory food samples reported in May were collected from. Samples were collected from It’s A Wonderful Bagel and State Line Diner. Samples are then picked up by the lab which then notifies us which products exceed allowable limits for bacteria. Mssrs. LaMontagne and Harris respectively, asked Mrs. Homler to explain how she decided which establishments to sample, and what food products to collect. Mrs. Homler explained that the establishment was chosen based on the types of food served; dairy items and mayonnaise based salads were the usual types of products collected.
Mrs. Speich wanted to know if a property owner with an underground tank was required to remove it prior to selling the property. Mr. Hopper replied that most mortgage companies would require an inspection of a tank still in use; the State prefers removal (rather than fill) of abandoned tanks. Further, State regulations (not local ordinance) govern the use/removal of underground storage tanks.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health
Activities Report was unanimously approved by all present.
HEALTH OFFICER’S REPORT
Moved by Mr. LaMontagne and, seconded by Mr. Ackerman that the Health Officer’s Report be approved.
Mrs. Spiech inquired about the DYFS cases reported this month. Mr. Hopper explained that in one case, an ambulance response to a home uncovered grossly unsanitary conditions. A child living in the home was subsequently removed by DYFS. In the second case, DYFS had received complaints from neighbors regarding the living conditions in a home with several young children. In this case, DYFS responded with municipal support and a police escort. Three young children were immediately removed from the home.
Mrs. Spiech inquired about the future use of the Mahwah Public Library for our Child Health Conference. The president of the Library Board has requested we relocate the clinic to the municipal building. Mr. Hopper will try to negotiate the continued use of the Library with Mr. Kenneth Giaimo (Library Director), as the Board feels it is a more appropriate and child-friendly venue than the municipal building.
Mr. Ackerman requested further information regarding the vet immunization materials Mr. Hopper delivered. Mr. Hopper provided details on the State Rabies program which provides free vaccines and syringes to participating veterinarians who, in turn, provide free immunizations to our residents.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Officer’s Report was unanimously approved.
Mr. Hopper advised that the Health Department has no objections to a major subdivision proposed off Airmount Road, as all homes are to be sewered and supplied with Township water.
Moved by Mr. Ackerman and, seconded by Mr. Harris, the Site Plan for Rowayton Properties, LLC, Block 109, Lots 4 & 5 was unanimously approved.
Moved by Mrs. Spiech and, seconded by Mr. LaMontagne, the bills for May were unanimously approved.
REPORT OF ATTORNEY
Mr. Romans reported that the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office has recently linked smoking to a variety of cancers, (above and beyond
those generally attributed to tobacco use). He suggested that this should encourage us to maintain our strong stance against tobacco use. Mr. Ackerman was curious as to why New Jersey has yet to outlaw smoking in restaurants, especially since no negative economic impact has been demonstrated in states that have. Further, he wanted to know if the Local Board of Health had the authority to regulate air cleanliness? Mr. Hopper stated that the Clean Indoor Air Act (A-315) would go a long way toward ensuring the health of employees as well as patrons in this industry. He also stated that several towns that have tried to ban smoking were subsequently sued, and lost.
1) 5/20/2004 From: Curtis Koster, Pres., Mahwah Library Board
Re: relocating Child Health Conference
2) A-315 Current Version of “The Clean Indoor Air Act”
3) Information packet:
S-1/A-2635 “The Highlands Water Protection & Planning Act”
Including newspaper articles, legislative analysis by NJLM, and correspondence from the Highlands Coalition
1) Resolution #04-6
A resolution to reappoint Mr. Thomas J. Romans, Esq. as Attorney to the Board of Health for the period June 1, 2004 through May 31, 2005.
Introduced by: Mr. LaMontagne
Seconded by: Mr. Wasson
Roll Call: 6 ayes
2) Mrs. Homler provided copies of the new school menus which indicate all selections are now baked instead of fried. Mr. Ackerman revisited the vending machine issue and asked if we could get a survey of the products offered in the machines in our schools. Mrs. Homler noted that the school year was ending but that perhaps she could accomplish this during a regular inspection in the fall. She also related that she had witnessed some healthier choices being offered, ie. apples, yogurt, and pretzel sticks. Nevertheless, she will bring up the vending selections again with Jack Petruyniak (at Pomptonian).
3) The group entered into a broad discussion on the pros and cons of the Highlands Bill, its effects on Mahwah and who, (if anyone) was responsible for educating/promoting it within the town. Mr. Wasson noted that the Highlands Coalition produces a great deal of literature. Mrs. DeSilva asked if Mr. Ostrow could make a presentation to interested townspeople. Mr. Hopper was not opposed, but stated that duty came first. A straw poll indicated the Board as a whole approves of the Bill; Mr. Hopper will draw up a formal resolution for our July meeting.
4) The group entered into a discussion on the benefits of A-315, the “Clean Indoor Air Act”. Mr. Hopper stated that the Bergen County Health Officers endorses the bill and was seeking the support of the local Boards of Health. As the Board was in favor, a resolution will be passed at our July meeting.
Moved by Mr. Ackerman and seconded by Mrs. Spiech and unanimously agreed by all present to endorse A-315.
As there were no further comments and no further business, a motion to adjourn at 9:15 PM was made by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. LaMontagne, and agreed by all present.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 22, 2004.
Marianne Campbell for
G. Hallissey, Secretary
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