More help may be available to fix septic problems for low-income residents

LISBON — Low-income residents with septic problems may again find help through the Columbiana County General Health District after Commissioner Wes Vins asked the Board of Health to approve application for $150,000 in Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.

In the past several years, the OWPCLF money has been given to help those unable to afford to replace their septic systems to do so, preventing failing systems to become nuisances to neighboring properties.

Vins said he also has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to be able to provide some of the funding to those residents who are unable to afford to have their septic system maintained.

In some cases they may have already gone through the program and replaced the system, but Vins said if they are unable to care for it, have the upkeep work done, then the system will still fail.

There have been several residents who have been taken to court for not taking care of their systems.

In some cases, they are now in compliance, but others just do not have the means.

In other matters:

— The board approved travel for Vins and Board President Dr. Jack Amato to travel to the Health Commissioner Conference in Columbus May 13-15.

— The board approved a variance for Michelle Fescenmeyer, Quaker Church Road, East Rochester, due to the inability to replace a sewer line near her home because of a deck built over the existing line.

— Two contractors, Ralph Betz and Sons Excavating and Sam Courtney, were granted approval to continue operating after obtaining continuing education they needed in 2018 and had not received until this year.

— The board approved an agreement with Dr. Adam G. Crouch Inc. to do lung screenings for county residents. The test will help detect lung cancer at an early stage.

— As we near April, Vins said it is time to begin celebrating 100 years of public health in Ohio. Starting in 1919, Ohio has made improvements in providing health services to its residents. Since that time, Vins said Columbiana County’s infant mortality rate has dropped from more than 250 to only five last year.

While that is still five too many, Vins said the area’s improvements in the areas of social services, health care and access to vaccines through the years have made a huge difference.

— The board of health will again consider having an intern this year.

If the health department receives a mosquito grant, the intern will spend some time identifying mosquito problems and the rest learning how to do residential inspections.

Although it is not known if the grant will be received, Vins asked to be allowed to post the position so the intern can get started about May 1.