Meeting was called to order by President De Silva at 8:00 PM. Mrs. De Silva read the opening statement advising that pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting was provided by mail to the Record on December 12, 2003.
Present: Mr. Ackerman, Mrs. De Silva, Mr. Harris, Mr. La Montagne, Mrs. Spiech, Mrs.
Tracey and Mr. Wasson
Also Present: Thomas J. Romans, Esq., Board Attorney, Mr. Hopper and Mr. Ostrow
ACTION ON MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
Moved by Mr. Ackerman and seconded by Mr. Wasson that the minutes of the regular meeting held on October 7, 2004 be approved.
Motion was approved.
ACTION ON HEALTH ACTIVITIES REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER
Moved by Mrs. Spiech and seconded by Mrs. Tracey that the Health Activities Report for September be approved.
Mr. Ackerman asked about the number of Lyme Disease reports received. Mr. Hopper stated that these are not confirmed cases, only reports. A Western blot test must be performed by the physician to confirm actual Lyme Disease, and follow up on each report must be conducted by a public health nurse. Mr. Ackerman asked about a reported case of campylobacteriosis. Mr. Hopper stated that it is a bacterial disease which is primarily food borne.
Mrs. Spiech asked if connection to the sanitary sewer is mandatory. Mr. Ostrow explained that it is mandatory, with certain exceptions. Mrs. Spiech asked if there is a fine for non-compliance. Mr. Ostrow stated that there is an ordinance in place for enforcement.
Mr. La Montagne asked about dead crows collected for West Nile Virus surveillance. Mr. Ostrow stated that we received very few reports of dead crows this summer, and no crows were submitted for testing.
Mr. Ackerman asked about the large number of unsatisfactory water sample results. Mr. Ostrow stated that they were pool water samples, and explained that a very minor variation in the chlorine residual or pH level could result in an unsatisfactory result.
Minutes November 4, 2004 Page 2
Mrs. De Silva asked about the Conditional rating issued to Wah Sing. Mr. Ostrow stated that the establishment has been re-inspected and the violations have been abated.
Mr. La Montagne asked about horse stables. Mr. Ostrow stated that our Board licenses them, and the owners are required to submit information on immunizations for the horses.
Mr. Wasson asked about a grease spillage complaint at a restaurant. Mr. Ostrow explained the follow up that was conducted to abate the complaint.
Mrs. Tracey asked about reports of deaths in Mahwah, whether any investigation is required by our department. Mr. Hopper explained that we do not investigate deaths, however the death certificate is filed in our office, and we file the original certificate with the State.
Mr. La Montagne asked about the rooster complaint. Mr. Ostrow stated that a summons has been issued. He stated that the owner of the rooster intends to plead not guilty in court, and there will be a trial. We have issued several previous summonses to this person for keeping roosters.
Mrs. Tracey asked about dog licenses, whether we aggressively seek out owners who fail to license their dogs. Mr. Ostrow stated that we investigate dog bite reports, and if the dog is unlicensed, a summons may be issued. Pursuant to State law, the Township Police Department performs ongoing canvassing to seek out unlicensed dogs.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Activities Report for September was approved by all present.
ACTION ON HEALTH ACTIVITIES REPORT FOR OCTOBER
Moved by Mr. Wasson and seconded by Mr. Ackerman that the Health Activities Report for October be approved.
Mr. Ackerman asked about the large number of unsatisfactory water sample results. Mr. Ostrow stated that these were for pool water samples, and that a minor variation in chlorine residual or pH level could result in an unsatisfactory sample result. Mr. Ackerman asked about a possible danger if the chlorine residual is too high. Mr. Ostrow stated that it could be irritating to bathers.
Mr. Wasson asked about radon testing. Mr. Ostrow stated that testing is routinely conducted as part of real estate closings.
Minutes November 4, 2004 Page 3
Mrs. Spiech asked about the amount reimbursed from Medicare for our flu program. Mr. Hopper stated that the amount noted was reimbursed for last year’s flu program, but was received during this calendar year.
Mr. La Montagne asked about knowledge gained at the Stormwater Management seminar. Mr. Ostrow explained the new State requirements, which will help to prevent contamination of surface waters. Various ordinances will need to be reviewed and updated. The Township is developing a plan to submit to the County Engineers.
Mr. Ackerman asked about the statistics reported on complaints received and numbers of visits made to complaints. Mr. Hopper explained that many complaints require follow up visits to ensure that matters are properly abated.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Activities Report for October was approved by all present.
ACTION ON HEALTH OFFICER’S REPORT FOR OCTOBER
Moved by Mr. La Montagne and seconded by Mrs. Spiech that the Health Officer’s Report for October be approved.
Mr. Ackerman asked Mr. Hopper to report on the meeting with parents at Ramapo Ridge Middle School. Mr. Hopper stated that the meeting was held on October 12th, and was attended by representatives of the Board of Education, the Board’s indoor air quality consultant, our department and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, PEOSH division. A preliminary meeting was held with a small group of concerned parents, which was followed by a press conference. An open meeting was then held, which was attended by approximately thirty parents. Environmental testing results were reviewed, which demonstrated that the indoor environment at the school does not present any significant risk to occupants with respect to the presence of unusual microbiological conditions or levels of microorganisms seen. The Board of Education will continue to follow up through adoption of the EPA Tools for Schools program, which is a progressive plan of action to ensure good indoor air quality in all Township school buildings. Mr. Hopper stated that he continues to be in frequent contact with the school nurse at Ramapo Ridge to discuss and follow up on student absences due to illness. Improved cleaning procedures have been implemented at the school, as a result of our recommendations, and an educational program on handwashing has been put in place and has been very successful.
Mrs. Spiech asked about the shortage of flu vaccine. Mr. Hopper stated that a limited amount of doses of vaccine have been received and will be distributed to our high-risk population by lottery. Pursuant to CDC guidelines, only high-risk individuals may be vaccinated, including seniors over 65, chronically ill residents, pregnant women and health care workers. Officers of our senior organization will supervise the lottery
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to ensure impartiality. Mr. Hopper stated that perhaps more vaccine would be available for purchase later in the season, which would allow us to offer vaccination to more people. Mrs. Tracey asked about vaccination of homebound high-risk individuals. Mr. Hopper stated that they can register by proxy, and if they are successful in the drawing, a public health nurse can be dispatched to administer the injection. Mrs. De Silva asked if persons who are successful in the lottery could give their shot to another person. Mr. Hopper stated that this would be permissible, provided that the person receiving the vaccine is in the high-risk category.
Mr. Hopper stated that the 2005 budget proposal was submitted, and the Board has a copy for review and welcomed any comments or questions.
Mr. Hopper reviewed information on community forums to be held by the Bergen County Public Health Partnership to receive input on the quality of life in Bergen County. These forums are being conducted as part of the MAPP process (Mobilizing Action through Partnership and Planning), in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the New Jersey Public Health Practice Standards. He invited the Board members to participate.
There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Officer’s Report for October was approved by all present.
PAYMENT OF BILLS
Moved by Mrs. Spiech and seconded by Mr. Ackerman to approve the payment of bills for October.
Motion was approved.
REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEES
Mrs. Spiech reported that a mass card was sent commemorating the death of former Board member James Ralston. Mrs. Spiech read a note of thanks from Mrs. Ralston.
REPORT OF ATTORNEY
Mr. Romans reported that he has been offered a position as attorney to the Oakland Board of Health. He thanked Mr. Hopper for recommending him.
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Mr. La Montagne asked about progress at Shorco. Mr. Ostrow stated that the system had to be shut down last week, as suspended solids were too high. A settling tank will be installed. Mr. Ostrow will check to ensure that the system is turned on again.
1. Copy of a letter from the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services reminding all local Health Officers to submit their APEX-PH surveys.
Mr. Hopper stated that the survey has been submitted in a timely manner, and we are
awaiting results from the UMDNJ School of Public Health. An aggregate report of
results of all local health agencies will be submitted to the county public health
partnership for use in planning.
2. 2005 Budget Proposal
Mr. Ackerman expressed his concern with regard to the budget proposal. He stated that the form of the proposal is poor, in that the amount requested in each line item does not relate to expenses reported to date. Mr. Hopper stated that the budget is prepared in September. At that time, an assessment is made of expenses to date in each line item, and a projection is made of the amount necessary to finish the year. A historical review is conducted to determine expenses in previous years, and an assessment is conducted of what may be necessary in the year to come. Contractual agencies (i.e. the Paramus Board of Health, Bergen Community Health Care, and West Bergen Mental Health) are contacted to ascertain a budget figure for the new year, and this information is included. A detailed account is submitted with the budget including proposed expenses within each line item. Additional amounts are necessary at times to be prepared for contingencies, such as possible legal action by the Board, or to pay for activities that may be required in the event of a public health emergency. Mr. Hopper stated that our office carefully monitors expenses. In addition, there is continuous oversight of overall expenses by the Chief Financial Officer, the Business Administrator and the Township Council. Any additional funds in our budget at the end of the year are returned to the municipal treasury. Mrs. Tracey asked about specific goals mentioned in the budget message, whether they were indicative of public health problems in the community. Mr. Hopper stated that they are not indicative of problems, but rather are responsibilities that all Boards of Health have pursuant to State regulations.
ANY FURTHER BUSINESS
Resolution No. 04-16 – Ordinance No. 04-115 – AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE NO. 31 OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MAHWAH AND TO ESTABLISH THE DUTIES AND COMPENSATION OF THE
Minutes November 4, 2004 Page 6
EMPLOYEES OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MAHWAH FOR THE YEAR 2004 – on final passage.
Moved by: Mr. Ackerman
Seconded by: Mr. La Montagne
Roll Call Vote: 7 ayes
GENERAL COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Mr. Ackerman asked if extended medical leave for Mrs. Hallissey had been approved by Administration. Mr. Hopper stated that it was approved, pursuant to the Board’s resolution passed at our last meeting. He discussed concerns regarding the budget, and workload of the department. He stated that with intervention by Mrs. De Silva, the Business Administrator agreed to promote Mrs. Campbell to a full time position. However, we are still short clerical staff by one part time position.
There being no other business to be brought before the Board, upon motion by Mr. La Montagne, seconded by Mrs. Tracey and carried unanimously, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.
John Hopper, Health Officer
For Geraldine Hallissey, Board Secretary
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