County Offices, Courts and Landfill will be closed on Monday, July 4 for the Independence Day Holiday. Critical services at Larimer County are not disrupted by closures.
LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH – March 15, 2012
The Larimer County Board of Health (BOH) convened its regular meeting at 7:00 PM at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE), 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.
Members Present: N. Mark Richards, M.D., M.P.H.
Lee Thielen, M.P.A.
C.J. McKinney, Ph.D.
Debbie Healy, RN, BHS
Executive Secretary: Adrienne LeBailly, M.D., M.P.H.
Staff: Marie Macpherson, Avie Strand, Paula Lady,
Jerry Blehm, Jim Devore, Bruce Peters
1. Call to order - The Board of Health meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.
2. Approval of February 9, 2012 meeting minutes - Minutes of the February 9, 2012 meeting were unanimously approved.
3. Presentation on the Retail Food Safety program– Jim Devore gave a presentation on the department’s Retail Food Safety Program. This program protects the public's health by preventing food-borne illness, assuring that foods sold and served to the public are wholesome and free from contamination or spoilage, and promoting food service establishments' compliance with state laws and regulations. There are 1,751 food establishments in Larimer County.
4. Review/discussion of March 7th Stakeholders meeting regarding syringe exchange – this item was tabled for a future meeting as one of the Board members was unable to attend this evening.
5. Update on Commissioners Budget Prioritization Process – Dr. LeBailly reported that she had forwarded to the Board of Health the department’s budget reduction document required for the Citizens Review Committee meeting. The possible reductions are considered representative of what might be cut based on proposed allocations and priorities of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The Department and the BCC recognize that the Board of Health is the governing body that will review and approve any cuts to department services when they become necessary, based on county funding allocated to the department.
BOH member Lee Thielen was part of the Citizen’s Review Committee and attended the meeting. Lee reported that there were approximately 25 people in attendance representing various county groups. The county manager led the group through the process. Lee shared some of the discussions and indicated she was pleased to have been part of the Committee.
Dr. LeBailly handed out a document developed by the county Budget Office about a year ago which estimates how the detention center will need to be funded when the jail tax expires on December 31, 2014. To meet the funding shortfalls for the jail, it looks like there may be about a 10% cut to the county funding of most Health Department programs by the 2015 budget. It would be desirable to have the flexibility to implement these reductions with a smaller percentage reduction in the first two years, even if larger cuts are required for 2015, since it is desirable to maintain public health services as long as possible. Since the department’s revenues from other sources change frequently, this might afford us the ability to save some services with other funding by year three if possible. Dr. LeBailly hopes that with the BOH’s approval we can use some of our fund balance to maintain services as long as we can during this process. The original time line for us to know the final budget allocation recommendations was supposed to be today, March 15th but this has been delayed at least until the end of April. Ms. Macpherson handed out a draft fund analysis showing the department’s expenses, revenues, and reserves. She stated that she is not overly concerned with the amount of fund balance that is projected to have been used in 2011 as it is significantly less than what was budgeted..
6. Review of Septic Permitting costs and setting fees for 2012 – Ms. Macpherson distributed a handout of our septic system permit cost analysis, including a proposal to increase certain fees. The BOH has statutory authority to set these fees. The permit fees cannot exceed $1,000. Our current fees do not bring in enough revenues to cover our costs, and the statute states “the fee for such permit shall be set so as to recover, as nearly as can be practically established, the costs associated with that permit.” The Department recommended an increase in certain fees. Ms. Healy requested additional information regarding the percentage increase for each fee, which was provided verbally and recorded on the handout during the meeting (see last page of minutes for handout). Ms. Macpherson stated that the fees have not increased since 2009 but also offered that the fee increase for cost recovery be considered to not discourage citizens from coming forward for repair.
Ms. Thielen made a motion for a proposal for discussion to approve the fees as proposed except for the minor repair and for the minor repair to increase by $50. Ms. Healy seconded the motion for discussion.
Discussion by the BOH took place. Per request, a comparison chart with select other County Health Department septic system permit fees was distributed. There was more discussion and clarification on what new systems, major and minor repairs and remodel consist of.
Dr. Richards asked for a vote on Lee’s motion. Motion failed 2-1.
Ms. Healy made a motion that we have no increase. Mr. McKinney seconded this motion for further discussion.
Dr. Richards asked for a vote of Ms. Healy’s proposal/motion. Motion failed 2-1. Dr. Richards then indicated that we are left with the department’s proposed increases.
Ms. Healy made a motion to propose that the fees increase across the board by 10%. Clarification was provided by the staff on the numbers all of which would net approximately 79% cost recovery. Mr. McKinney pointed out that commercial permit fees (which cost higher than the cap) are being subsidized by other fee categories.
Dr. Richards asked for a second on Ms. Healy’s motion. There was no second so this motion failed.
Mr. McKinney proposed to leave the minor residential repair fee the same as current ($275) and raise the major residential repair fee to $700, increase the remodel fee to $800 and go with the recommendation for vault fee $440. This is an 84% recovery cost. Ms. Thielen seconded this motion for discussion.
After discussion, Dr. Richards called for a vote on Mr. McKinney’s motion. Motion passed 2-1.
[The final list of approved septic fees can be found on the last page of these minutes.]
7. Election of new Board of Health officers to take office in April 2012 – There is a two year limit for officers of the BOH. Ms. Thielen nominated Mr. McKinney as President, who is accepted the nomination. Mr. McKinney nominated Ms.Thielen who was not willing to accept the nomination.
Dr. Richards asked for a vote for Mr. McKinney as President; all in BOH voted approval; Mr. McKinney nominated Ms.Thielen as vice president; all BOH in attendance voted approval.
8. Director’s Report – The Department’s fund balance was briefly discussed earlier in the meeting. Dr. LeBailly reported there was a story in the Coloradoan regarding the Syringe Exchange Program.
Ms. Thielen added that she had a discussion with the Chair from the Mesa County BOH, John Rodwick, also the current chair for the Colorado Association of local BOHs (CALBOH), regarding invigorating the group. They came up with a couple recommendations. Teleconferences might be utilized with potential topics of items such as syringe exchange and Community Health Assessment since both these topics are of concern to may boards statewide.
9. Next meeting –The public meeting for the syringe exchange program will be April 11th, location to be determined. [Time and location: 5:30 – 7:00 PM, 1501 Blue Spruce Dr, Fort Collins, Human Service Department across from the Health Dept.] Because two Board of Health members have conflicts on our regularly scheduled April meeting date, it was decided that a meeting day web survey would be sent to all members to determine the next BOH meeting so that the syringe exchange program from the public comment could be discussed. [It was subsequently determined that April 11, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM would be the best date for the April Board of Health meeting.]
Before the next BOH meeting Dr. LeBailly will email the group the nominations for the Joe Jabailly Public Health Hero Award.
10. Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Paula Lady, Recording Secretary Adrienne LeBailly, MD, Executive Secretary