BOARD OF HEALTH
May 6, 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 8:04 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: Mr. Harris
PROFESSIONALS: Mr. Romans, Attorney
Mr. Hopper, Health Officer
Mr. Stuart Ostrow, REHS
Mrs. Campbell, Acting Secretary
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Moved by Mr. LaMontagne, seconded by Mrs. Tracey that the minutes of the regular meeting of April 1, 2004 be approved.
There being no questions or discussion, the minutes were approved by all present.
APPROVAL OF HEALTH ACTIVITIES REPORT
Moved by Mrs. Spiech, seconded by Mr. Wasson that the Health
Activities Report be approved.
Mr. Ackerman questioned if the Hepatitis cases reported were chronic or new cases. Mr. Hopper responded that the monthly figure does not distinguish between the two, but both are considered reportable.
Mrs. Speich inquired if we are seeing an increase in bite cases. Mr. Hopper responded that there seemed to be no significant increase.
Mr. Ackerman was concerned about the 10 unsatisfactory pool water reports. Mr. Ostrow explained that even a slight deviation from
the Water Quality Standard (ie. ph level or too high chlorine reading) warrants an unsatisfactory rating.
Mrs. DeSilva wanted to know if the TASE offenders had pleaded guilty at their court hearings. Mr. Hopper replied yes and that both were fined $250. Mr. Wasson questioned if the offenders were aware of the consequences of repeat offenses. Mr. Hopper said that offenders are informed that a second offense is $500, a third offense $1000, and possible revocation of license.
Mrs. DeSilva asked about the status of our old TASE cases. Mr. Hopper responded that the companies went out of business or had changed hands. Further, the State has procedures in place today that did not exist in the infancy of the program. Mr. Wasson wanted to know if the State mandated which establishments we were to monitor. Mr. Hopper stated that inspections are assigned by the State, but we are also free to choose the establishments we visit; the State provides us with the list of tobacco licensees in our jurisdiction.
Mrs. Tracy questioned if there was a time limit on the three offenses. Mr. Hopper explained that the offenses did not “expire” but accumulated over the life of the business.
Mrs. DeSilva questioned the spot check at Joyce Kilmer. Mr. Hopper stated that no rating is issued on a spot check; Diane Homler was following up on a previous inspection regarding a bathroom.
Mrs. DeSilva requested additional information regarding the conditional restaurant ratings issued this month. Mr. Ostrow explained that Subway’s Bain Marie needed to be replaced (and subsequently was); The Store was just generally unclean and needed thorough cleaning.
Mr. Wasson wanted clarification of the current septic installation inspections. Mr. Ostrow explained that that these were new systems for new homes and detailed some problems we experienced with the contractor doing one of the jobs.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health
Activities Report was unanimously approved by all present.
HEALTH OFFICER’S REPORT
Moved by Mr. Romans, seconded by Mr. Wasson that the Health Officer’s Report be approved.
Mrs. Speich requested additional information regarding a medical matter Mr. Hopper was investigating at Ramapo Ridge School. Mr. Hopper stated that 4 children in the school had undergone appendectomies, but no single disease or environmental cause could be identified. Lab results have ruled out any common pathogen or communicable disease. A viral agent could be a possible cause. Mr. Hopper spoke with Mr. Blueglass, Superintendent of Schools and sent a letter outlining the situation, the findings to date, and reassurance that we were monitoring the situation closely.
Mrs. Spiech inquired about the seasonality of West Nile Virus and if it was on the wane. Mr. Hopper explained that the crow population is beginning to exhibit some resistance to the virus, therefore, we are finding (and reporting) fewer dead crows than some years ago. The state is relying more on mosquito pool testing to identify areas where the virus is present.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Officer’s Report was unanimously approved.
HEALTH OFFICER’S ANNUAL REPORT
Moved by Mr. LaMontagne, and seconded by Mr. Wasson that the Health Officer’s Annual Report be approved.
Mr. Hopper commended the Health Department staff and stated how busy the office is, especially with the increasing activity and requirements of vital statistics, and the new requirements of the Public Health Practice Standards.
The group entered into a broad discussion on the issuance of certified copies, the particulars of safety paper, the legitimacy of older records, and the availability of certified records via the internet.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Officer’s Annual Report was unanimously approved.
Moved by Mrs. Spiech, seconded by Mr. Ackerman the bills for April were unanimously approved.
REPORT OF ATTORNEY
1) 4/29/2004 From John Hopper to: NJDHSS
Re: PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE STANDARDS,
LOCAL HEALTH EVALUATION REPORT
Mr. Romans asked Mr. Hopper to elaborate on the 2003 Local Health Evaluation Report that was submitted on April 29, 2004.
Mr. Hopper stated that this was the first year the report was required, and described the increasing requirements of the Public Health Practice Standards: providing specific types of services, evaluation of our population to determine public health needs, written goals and objectives for everything we do, and participation in a regional governmental Public Health Partnership. A Bergen County Public Health Partnership has been newly formed, and will ultimately be responsible for developing a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), a document designed to reduce rates of disease and effectively improve public health. The CHIP would be formulated with the input of nurses, hospitals and other medical providers.
An additional assessment will be required of Local Health Departments : Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health (APEX) as well as a Governance assessment that the Local Board of Health will be responsible for completing.
Mr. Ackerman asked how long the evaluation took to complete: four months. Mr. Wasson wanted an assurance that the State would actually use the information that was so laboriously compiled. Mr. Hopper was confident that, especially with an electronic submission, the results would be tabulated quickly and used to implement the Practice Standards.
2) 4/26/2004 From: John Hopper To: Mr. H. Murray Blueglass
Re: various illnesses of children at Ramapo Ridge School
3) 4/12/2004 From: Helene Cross, NJDHSS
Re: Report of Cumulative Confirmed HIV/AIDS Cases
4) 4/6/2004 From: Bergen County HealthEASE
Re: Screening Statistics for Mahwah Health Fair
5) 4/20/2004 FAX From: NJLBHA
Re: Agenda for Annual Conference, 5/22/04 Sayreville, NJ
6) Fact Sheets From: West Bergen Mental Health Care
Re: Services provided by Center for Children and Youth
and other WBMH programs
7) 4/28/2004 From: Bergen Community Health Care
Re: Summary Report, First Quarter 2004
Mr. Ostrow presented a request from Councilman John Spiech that the Board of Health pass a resolution to endorse the Highlands Bill. This legislation proposes to protect the various Highland watersheds by limiting building and construction in this environmentally sensitive area (which includes the area of Mahwah, generally west of Route 202.) After some discussion, the Board agreed it would like additional information before committing to an endorsement.
Mr. Ostrow presented a second request from Mr. Spiech seeking the Board’s backing on an application for an EPA 319H grant. The grant would pay for a baseline water quality study of the Ramapo River. Since the township is competing with other groups for this state money, Mr. Spiech feels that an application signed by the Town Council, the Board of Health and the Environmental Commission would increase our chances of being awarded a grant.
Moved by Mr. Ackerman, seconded by Mr. LaMontagne and unanimously agreed by all present that the Board of Health will co-sign an application for an EPA 319H grant.
As there were no further comments and no further business, a motion to adjourn at 9:20 PM was made by Mr. LaMontagne, seconded by Mrs. Spiech, and agreed by all present.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 3, 2004.
Marianne Campbell for
G. Hallissey, Secretary
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