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Friday, October 5th, 2007

Many unused sewage permits to expire soon

By Shelley Grieshop
Only about one-third of the home sewage system permits issued in 2006 have resulted in constructed and/or approved systems in Mercer County, and the one-year expiration on those remaining permits is drawing near, according to local officials.
In January, stricter home sewage regulations went into effect in Ohio, causing a mad rush of Mercer County residents applyng for permits in late 2006. Those permits expire one year from the time of issue.
However, in June the new rules were delayed for two years by Ohio legislators and the standards put in place in 1977 became effective once again.
Mercer County-Celina City Health Department Sanitarian Chris Miller gave the update to board members meeting Wednesday.
Miller reminded the board that not everything in the new regulations were slashed in June and that each county and city health department is currently amending the temporary plan to fit its individual needs.
Miller said 265 of the 848 permits issued in 2006 still have not resulted in installed sewage systems. Of those, 16 have expired, seven applicants re-applied to beat their expiration dates, one decided not to build, two opted for tank replacements, four decided to use their existing systems and two opted to connect to other sewage lines, Miller said.
Board members also approved a food service plan permit for Pirate's Cove in Mendon. Owner Ron Piper is renovating former storage space to expand his kitchen area to offer a bigger variety of food for customers, Director of Environmental Health Michelle Kimmel said.
The renovations are still being completed, Kimmel added.
In other business, board members:
• Approved a third and final reading of an emergency adoption of supplementary household sewage treatment system rules. The amendments will supplement the regulations currently in place.
• Approved the maternity licensure survey for Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, and Harbor House Maternity Home, Celina.
• Learned a rough draft of the health department's purchasing policy is being created and is expected to be ready for board approval at next month's meeting.
• Held an executive session to discuss the hiring of a part-time registered nurse. Following the session, board members agreed to hire Amy Eblen to work two days per week at $15.75 per hour. The hiring was necessary after Director of Nursing Sally Bowman left and staff positions were altered in her absence, county Health Commissioner Dr. Philip Masser said.
• Learned a special executive session is planned for 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the health department office in the Central Services Building in Celina to discuss a personnel compensation issue.
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