Health department begins to plan septic system repairs

LISBON — The county health department is prepared to begin spending some of the $300,000 in state grant money it received earlier in the year to help repair septic systems for income-eligible residents.

The health board voted at Wednesday’s meeting to accept bids from septic installers competing to repair the first six households with malfunctioning septics that have been chosen to participate in the program funded by an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency grant.

The following is the initial list of households selected to participate in the program and how much of the anticipated expenses the grant will cover:

–5430 Jimtown Road, Unity Township: 85 percent.

–47647 Metz Road, Unity Township: 50 percent.

–31118 Winona Road, Butler Township: 100 percent.

–33562 Teegarden Road, Hanover Township: 50 percent.

–28465 Speidel Road, Hanover Township: 50 percent.

–22016 Bowman Road, Knox Township: 50 percent.

The program is open to owner-occupied households that meet the income guidelines, with the grant money paying between 50 percent and 100 percent of the cost. The grant money will pay half the cost for households that do not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $72,000 for a family of four. Applicants at 100 percent of the federal poverty level –$24,000 for a family of four — can have the entire cost covered by the grant.

Lori Barnes, the health department’s environmental director, said the number of households they are able to serve will depend on how the bids come in. The grant is for 2017-18.

In other action, the board:

–Granted a variance to John Dye, McAlliser Road, Lisbon, so he can replace his new septic system using existing clay tile. Barnes said the new septic rules that went into affect several years ago outlawed the use of clay tile on new systems unless the tile is still intact and in good shape, which is the case with Dye’s system.

–Granted a variance to Thomas Rill Farm Drainage & Excavating of Butler Township so he can continue to operate in 2017. Rill’s operator failed to obtain the necessary continuing education requirements in 2016 because of other commitments. County health commissioner Wes Vins said he was able to get the state health department agree to let Rill continue operations in 2017 if Rill’s worker obtained his continuing education requirements this year.

–Agreed to continue providing epidemiology services under a contract with the Noble County Health Department, which subcontracts with the local health department to provide the service to the health departments in Harrison and Jefferson counties. Vins said RN Jamie Ellenz, one of their staff nurses, is trained in epidemiology (the study of how diseases spread and can be controlled) and serves as the staff epidemiologist. The county will be paid $17,900.

— Nursing Director Jennifer Davis reported 68 men participated in the PSA screening clinic held on June 13.