Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

 

LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH – February 14, 2008  

 

The Larimer County Board of Health convened its regular meeting at 7:00 PM at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.

 

       MEMBERS PRESENT:                Lee Thielen, M.P.A. (via telephone)

                                                            Teri Olson, R.N., M.S.N.

                                                            Blair Trautwein, J.D.

                                                            Mark Richards, M.D., M.P.H.

                                                            Judy Robinson, B.S.N., M.P.H.

 

Adrienne LeBailly, MD, MPH - Exec. Secretary                                 

 

       OTHERS PRESENT:                   Marie Macpherson, Bruce Peters, Commissioner Kathay Rennels, Jerry Blehm, Avie Strand, Ed Schemm, Doug Ryan,

                                                            and Amy Smith.

 

           

1.   Call to Order

 

Meeting was called to order at 7:07 P.M.

 

2.   Approval of the Minutes of December 13, 2007

      

       Minutes of December 12, 2007 were unanimously approved

      

3.   Uranium In-Situ mining update: Environmental Advisory Board report and CSU conference-

       Doug Ryan, Jerry Blehm, and the Board members

 

Doug Ryan, the Environmental Health Planner, distributed a report prepared by the county's Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) containing information on uranium In-Situ Leach mining.  He informed the Board that an actual mining permit application has not been submitted for the proposed Weld County project, so there were no specific project details available for the EAB to evaluate.  Instead the EAB described in their report to the Commissioners the potential environmental and health impacts that could occur from both in-situ and open pit mining for uranium.  The greatest environmental risk of in-situ mining is groundwater contamination.  Mr. Ryan briefly described the process for In Situ Leach and Open pit mining.  He described how in situ mining makes the uranium in an aquifer more soluble by injecting chemicals such as sodium bicarbonate, which increases the dissolution of uranium and other heavy metals.  The uranium-enriched water is then extracted though production wells, the uranium is removed, and the water is treated and returned to the source aquifer.  Critical issues of monitoring and restoration of groundwater were reviewed, and other potential environmental and health risks were described.  Understanding of the underground geology is critical to any analysis of the feasibility and safety of in situ mining in this location, and at this point that information is not available to the public.   Mr. Ryan also described two proposed bills related to uranium mining introduced in the current


legislative session.  Commissioner Rennels explained that county commissioners can impose a requirement, as part of a land use permit process, which would require an applicant to maintain and monitor the site for a defined period of time after the project was completed.

 

The board thanked Mr. Ryan for his presentation and complimented the Environmental Advisory Board on their report.

 

4.   Goals for 2008- Director, Division Directors, and Board of Health

     

Dr. LeBailly distributed draft goals for 2008, and solicited their ideas for additional Board of Health goals, as well as their comments and questions on other department and division goals.   Ms. Thielen  suggested that the Board have a goal related to continuing to monitor the uranium mining issue through information provided by the Environmental Health Division.  Blair Trautwein suggested a goal regarding the prioritization tool, which was expanded into a goal about reviewing fund balance targets and prioritizing services [See revised Goals for 2008 document] Commissioner Rennels spoke of the upcoming meetings in February and March with the Commissioners and the County Manager  to consider options to deal with the county budget shortfall that will begin to take place in 2009.  Commissioner Rennels also emphasized that the effects of cutting one program can have broader impacts on other programs and services. Marie Macpherson indicated that our resource allocation discussions will continue, and our work on the prioritization tool may be ready to bring to the Board of Health by April.

 

The board asked several questions about other division goals which were answered by Marie Macpherson, Averil Strand and Ed Schemm.

 

5.   Appointed officials salaries and HR Compensation Plan Project Update

 

Marie Macpherson informed the Board about the Compensation and Classification Project that the Human Resources Department will be starting this year to make improvements in the overall structure of the position classification system and compensation procedures.

 

Ms. Macpherson inquired if anyone on the Board needed any clarification or additional information on the materials she had provided earlier in the week related to the survey information for the Public Health Administrator position (Dr. LeBailly), the other appointed positions in the Department and the general salary and salary range guidelines from HR for 2008.  The Board of Health has the responsibility for setting the Director’s salary alone.  According to a survey of local health departments in Colorado, the director’s salary is 12.5%  to 14.3% behind the 50th percentile for other local health department physician health director salaries in 2007. 

 

Ms. Macpherson informed the Board that the ranges for two of the Division Directors (Community Health Services Director and Environmental Health Services Director) were still under review by Human Resources and since the new HR Compensation Specialist has been out of town this project was still not completed yet. She was asked to clarify the guidelines as it relates to the potential salary increases for the other appointed positions. These would be eligible to receive a 4% merit increase pending performance review completion if they are not already at the top of their salary range after any range adjustments that might be made in 2008. 

 

Having no other questions, the Board indicated they had sufficient information to make a decision on the Public Health Administrator salary.

 

      Motion was made to increase Dr. LeBailly’s salary 4.5%.

 

Motion was unanimously approved.

 

 

6.   Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) Free Dental Care Project July 17-18 at “The Ranch”

 

Dr. LeBailly requested to move the discussion of the dental care to the March meeting.

 

 

7.   Legislative Update

 

Lee Thielen updated the members of the Board of the food licensing bill that was postponed indefinitely in the HHS committee.  The Public Health restructuring bill is very close to the final bill,  the wording needs to be finalized and should be introduced next week.

 

Dr. LeBailly distributed Gov. Ritter’s “Building Blocks to Health Care Reform” document, and said there would likely be bills coming out relating to this effort during the session.

 

A bill to update the language of the tuberculosis control statute has also been introduced, and the state will include an increase in the TB budget as a request for funding in the “Long Bill.”

 

 

8.   Director’s Report

 

Dr. LeBailly informed the BOH of the Health Department’s 40TH birthday which occurred earlier in the week on Feb 11, 2008.  

 

The Joe Jabaily award nominations are being solicited on the website, and a press release has been released. 

 

Dr. LeBailly shared a letter of from the owner of a Fort Collins food and drink establishment expressing regret for having opposed the Fort Collins secondhand smoke initiatives in the past and recognizing that the workplace was now much cleaner and healthier for customers and employees.

      

Dr. LeBailly informed the members of the Board that she is one of seven members of the city of Fort Collin’s technical advisory group for West Nile Virus.  The committee will review the current WNV control efforts in Fort Collins and will make recommendations to the City Council for the 2008 season. They hope to provide a consensus document, but this may be difficult due to the divergent views of the people on the committee.  Meetings will be weekly until recommendations are completed.

 

 

9.   The next Board of Health meeting will be held March 13, 2008.

 

        

10.   The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________                 _________________________________

 Amy Smith, Recording Secretary                       Adrienne LeBailly, MD, Executive Secretary

 

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.