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Board of Health

Meeting Minutes
September 09, 2008

12:00 Noon
Rice Conference Room

Present: Dr. Francis Fox; Mr. Brooke Greenhouse (arrived 12:15 PM); Dr. James Macmillan; Mr. Michael McLaughlin, Jr.; Mr. Frank Proto; Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker, President; Mr. Greg Stevenson; and Dr. William Tyler
Staff: Mrs. Sylvia Allinger, Director of CSCN; Mrs. Liz Cameron, Director of Environmental Health; Mrs. Alice Cole, Public Health Director; Mrs. Sigrid Connors, Director of Patient Services; Brenda Grinnell Crosby, Public Health Administrator; Dr. William Klepack, Medical Director; Mr. Jonathan Wood, County Attorney; and Mrs. Patty Stamm, Administrative Assistant
Excused: None
Absent: None
Guests: Steven Kern, Sr. Public Health Sanitarian; Cindy Schulte, Public Health Sanitarian; Jim Wise, Beaconview MHP; Russ Baer and Keith Hoffman, Newfield Estates MHP


Dr. Snedeker called the regular meeting of the Board of Health to order at 12:05 P.M.

Approval of Minutes:

Dr. Tyler moved to accept the minutes of the August 12, 2008 meeting as written, seconded by Mr. Proto, and carried by a unanimous voice vote.

Financial Summary:

Mrs. Grinnell Crosby distributed the July financial Summary, adding that they are currently working on the August Financial Summary.

She stated that the 1st Quarter State Aid has been paid at 2% less than submitted due to 1st round State cuts. She added that the 2nd round, which could impact the Health Department, is a 6% cut, which she estimates to be around $59,000 to $60,000. Mrs. Grinnell Crosby stated they have not received notice at this time as to which grants will be impacted, with the exception of one - the Drinking Water Grant, which has been impacted by the 2% and the 6% cut. She added the Article Six State Aid money and Early Intervention were spared the 6% cut in the 2nd round of cuts.

Mrs. Grinnell Crosby stated the 2nd Quarter State Aid has been filed, although it is not reflected on the July Financial Summary. However, it will be reflected on the August report. Once the August books are closed and balanced to the County, Mrs. Grinnell Crosby and Mrs. Johnson will review the books to determine if the department needs to make any adjustments in spending. She stated she felt reductions would need to be made in spending this year based on absorbing the 2% cuts, in addition to absorbing the increased fuel costs throughout the year.

Administration Report:

Mrs. Cole stated she had nothing to add to her written report. She reminded Board members that due to the Veteran’s Day Holiday on Tuesday, November 11th, the November Board of Health meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 18th.

Medical Director’s Report:

Dr. Klepack reported he and Dr. Snedeker were doing an immunization presentation on the 25th of September for the community.

He also reported that the department was still dealing with Pertussis cases. Dr. Snedeker stated there were some cases of mumps circulating around the area, primarily in Onondaga County, but added there were a couple of suspect cases locally as well.

There was a short discussion regarding flu vaccine. There doesn’t appear to be any anticipated shortage of flu vaccine for this flu season.

Division for Community Health:

Mrs. Connors reported:

  • They are still waiting for official word from the State Health Department on a grant they submitted for STD Education and Outreach for the sum of $15,000. Mrs. Connors has been advised by e-mail that they should have it, but she is still awaiting official notice before spending any of the money.
  • Pertussis cases are up to 13. On the first day of school, Mrs. Bishop and Mrs. Mohler gave all faculty and staff in the Dryden School District a presentation about Pertussis. They also shared letters regarding Pertussis, which will in turn be sent home to all parents in the school district.
  • She was pleased to announce that Andrea Smith has been appointed as the new WIC Director.
  • The Health Promotion Program is hard at work applying for a 5-year $180,000 grant for tobacco prevention that is due October 1st.

Children with Special Care Needs:

Mrs. Allinger reported:

  • On July 30th and 31st, the NYS Department of Health performed their Municipal Review of the Early Intervention Program as an Administrator of that program. She stated this was a very comprehensive review: client records, contracts and billing with service providers (48 individuals and 10 different agencies), policies and procedures. Mrs. Allinger added they are awaiting the final report from the Department of Health, but stated she couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.
  • A personal goal has been to develop a home-based ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Program for the Early Intervention Program, ages birth to three. In collaboration with the Racker Centers and Psychologist, Karen Fried, Franziska Racker Centers has hired a Special Education teacher and we are currently developing the program. Starting this fall, we will be providing home-based ABA for the children in Early Intervention. She added they are one of the first rural counties to be able to offer this service.
  • The Cornell Early Childhood Center recently closed after being in existence since the 1920’s. Cornell has brought in Bright Horizons which is a national organization and has opened up a new preschool and day care center. The Board of Directors of the Cornell Early Childhood Center met and decided the Early Intervention Program would be the benefactor of a large donation. Because of this generous donation, the Early Intervention Program will have all the furniture and equipment needed to furnish their new therapy evaluation room which will be located in the new Health Department building on Brown Road. Mrs. Allinger also stated, based on this donation, they will also be able to start a Lending Closet for their therapists to rotate specialty types of toys and equipment.

County Attorney’s Report:

Mr. Wood stated he had nothing to report.

Environmental Health Report:

Mrs. Cameron reported:

  • There would be representatives from Newfield Estates coming to today’s meeting.
  • The man who was bitten by the rabid bat in a local park in the City of Ithaca has been found. She stated everyone contributed greatly in identifying and locating this man, including the woman in the park, Frank Chase from the Environmental Health Division, the media, local police departments, local list serves, and the community. She added it was a good success story since the man was not a County resident and not on the traditional information grid. Mrs. Cameron stated the State Health Department complimented her division on their handling of the situation. Mrs. Cameron stated there have been two rabid bats to date for this year. She also stated that recently rabies has been very active. In addition to the 1 raccoon, 1 skunk, and 2 bats listed in the Environmental Health Highlights, there has also been a rabid woodchuck.
  • She would be bringing changes to the County code on local public water supply regulations back to the Board of Health. She suggested meeting with Mr. Greenhouse and Mr. McLaughlin (and anyone else who would like to be involved) prior to the Board of Health meeting to discuss any remaining issues.

Approvals and Actions

Todd Feldman, Owner, Beaconview MHP, T-Dryden – NYS Sanitary Code and Tompkins County Sanitary Code Violations (sewage):

Mr. Greenhouse moved to approve the resolution as written, seconded by Mr. Stevenson.

Mrs. Cameron stated she would like to propose a revision to the resolution. The original mobile home park had two systems approved and they only installed one of them, which is the one that failed. She stated that Environmental Health and the NYS DEC would prefer that Beaconview MHP use the previously approved older plans on file with as-built changes approved by an Engineer, since Beaconview is very interested in moving ahead and resolving the situation. Mrs. Cameron requested that under “Therefore Be It Resolved,” on the Draft Resolution, items #3 & #4, where they are required to submit plans, be removed. Mr. Feldman will need to keep pumping the tanks to make sure there is no surface discharge and also submit pumping records to the Health Department.

Mr. Weis, representing Beaconview MHP, stated currently they are waiting on a surveyor to address a property line issue. Once this issue is resolved, they will move towards the placement of the new sewage system. Mr. Weis added that DEC inspected the site yesterday and stated currently it’s fine as long as they keep it dry and working so as not to create any hazard.

Mr. Proto moved to modify the Draft Resolution by removing items #3 & #4 under “Therefore Be It Resolved,” seconded by Dr. Macmillan. Carried.

Resolution as amended carried unanimously.

Richard Louie, Flanders Ventures LLC, Newfield Estates MHP, T-Newfield – NYS Sanitary Code and Tompkins County Sanitary Code Violations (sewage):

Mr. McLaughlin moved to approve the resolution as written, seconded by Dr. Tyler.

Mrs. Cameron stated on June 10, 2008 the Board passed a resolution requiring Richard Louie and Flanders Ventures, LLC to correct the water and sewage violations at Newfield Estates according to a Timetable of Compliance agreed to by Mr. Louie. No action was taken by July 2nd and a revised resolution is being submitted with the same terms and a deadline of September 30th, as well as adding a penalty of $1,800 for violations and deficiencies. Mrs. Cameron also added that someone new will be taking over ownership and management of the park. This person will be living on the premises and will be working to bring the park into compliance. Mrs. Cameron stated this does not affect the previous violations.

A discussion ensued regarding whether there was adequate time to make repairs and correct the violations due to the upcoming change in seasons and weather. Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Baer, representing Newfield Estates MHP, felt confident the electric and water service could be completed within 30 days of Health Department approval since these were minimum expense items. They stated there are financial issues with the previous owner. They anticipate the new owner will be on board within the next few days and will get started right away on correcting any outstanding violations.

Mr. Proto pointed out that there was a large penalty involved if the Timetable was not fully met. He asked Mrs. Cameron if it was possible to make any modifications to the resolution so as to not put any additional burden on Newfield Estates MHP to fully meet a Timetable they may not be able to comply with until the new owner takes charge.

Mrs. Cameron agreed the difficult construction season was approaching; however, if the initial Timetable had been met (July 2nd) this wouldn’t be an issue. It was pointed out the new owner will be assuming responsibility from the present time ongoing. All previous fines go back to the past owner (Flanders Ventures, LLC). Mrs. Cameron stated, given the new ownership, her department is comfortable with removing item #6 under “THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,” on the Draft Resolution, “If the Timetable is not fully met, a penalty of $3,600 will be due within 30 days of notice without further Board action.” She added if there was a problem with compliance she would bring it back to the Board. Further clarifying the status of assessed fees, with the June 10th resolution there was a penalty of $900 which has been paid, however the work was never completed. Item #5 on the current resolution is an additional $1,800 penalty for “these violations and violation of the Board of Health Orders of June 10, 2008, due within 30 days of notice.”

Following further discussion amongst Board members and staff regarding discharge of sewage, protection of stored water, replacement of well caps (item #3 – well caps have been installed per Mr. Hoffman), Dr. Tyler moved to accept the proposed amendment to the Draft Resolution of the deletion of item #6. Carried. Approval of the Draft Resolution as amended was carried unanimously.

Ms. Debby Halpern, Manager, Brookton Market, T-Caroline – GWUDI Time Table of Compliance:

Mr. Greenhouse moved to approve the resolution as written, seconded by Dr. Macmillan.

Mr. Proto made the disclosure that he owned the property surrounding the Brooklyn Market. He stated one option was to develop a well. He further stated if the decision is made to go ahead and drill a well, property lines need to be established since his survey does not agree with the Brookton Market survey. Mr. Proto added he may need to abstain from voting on this resolution.

Mr. Greenhouse requested in the Draft Resolution, Debby Halpern be listed as Owner rather than Operator (in two places).

Motion, as amended, carried with seven votes and one abstention (Proto).

Nominating Committee for Slate of Offers for 2009 and One Term Expiring (Proto):

Mr. Proto and Mr. Macmillan both volunteered to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Slate of Officers for 2009. This was unanimously approved. Mr. Proto urged that any Board member who was interested in serving as an Officer in 2009 contact either he or Dr. Macmillan.

Mr. Proto announced his term as Consumer Member would be expiring in December 2008. He added unless the Bylaws of the Board of Health and the Legislature are waived (can only serve two consecutive terms), he would be unable to be reconsidered for a new term. Mrs. Cole stated she had an applicant for the Board of Health slot, so she would give this application to the Nominating Committee. Mr. Proto stated he would be willing to serve another term, however added it would be appropriate to get the word out and see if anyone else was interested in serving on the Board of Health.

Dr. Snedeker suggested that in view of the circumstances, it might be appropriate to replace Mr. Proto’s position on the Nominating Committee and asked Mr. Greenhouse if he would be willing to participate. Mr. Greenhouse willingly agreed.


At 12:50 P.M., Mr. Greenhouse moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Dr. Macmillan, carried unanimously.


Tompkins County Health Department - 55 Brown Road - Ithaca, New York 14850
Brenda Grinnell Crosby - Interim Public Health Director 
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