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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Dumpsterman credited for clean-up action

By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - Health officials appeared optimistic Wednesday after learning improvements were made at a local refuse facility that remains in violation of the open dumping law.
Chris Miller, sanitarian for the Mercer County-Celina City Health Department, showed board members photographs taken Tuesday during a re-inspection of the site on Staeger Road in Celina.
"All in all, I think he's come pretty close to expectations," Miller said of Greg Gargis, owner of Dumpsterman Container Services. "He has made a difference; he's not just moving things around."
Gargis, who was present at the meeting, told the health board he terminated previous employees who weren't sorting the refuse as instructed.
"I let go of all existing yard people and got new people," he said. "I've moved out about twice what we projected to do."
At a meeting in November, the health board gave Gargis a March deadline to remove all solid waste and other specified debris from the property or face prosecution. The only materials allowed at the construction and demolition debris business by March 3 are asphalt shingles, clean wood for mulching and clean, hard fill material.
Gargis is not permitted to accept or keep on site solid waste items such as plastics or general trash.
At the board's October meeting, Gargis outlined an incremental 90-day clean-up plan that garnered the board's verbal approval. An inspection in November, prior to the board meeting, showed no significant progress.
Miller noted in his report that Gargis recently implemented a new method of sorting material, which aided in the waste removal process. The sanitarian also observed during the re-inspection that fewer roll-off containers were filled with materials and fewer recyclables were present than in the previous visit.
Another inspection is scheduled prior to the board's Jan. 8 meeting.
Although Gargis remains in violation of open dumping, board members were pleased with the progress.
"I get a sense he's moving in the right direction," board member Jim Moran said.
Gargis has received several complaints for open dumping since the facility opened in 2009. Inspections were completed in the past by the local health department, as well as Ohio and U.S. EPA agents.
Construction demolition and debris facilities do not require licenses or permits but must follow Ohio Revised Code rules concerning the presence of solid waste.
Also Wednesday, the board approved wage hikes for four positions based on a pay compensation review and recommendation by consultant Clemans-Nelson. The salary increases include the fiscal officer, $15 to $16.92 per hour; vital registrar/insurance biller, $15,23 to $16.37; director of nursing, $21 to $23.75; public health nurse 2, $17.50 to $18.75; and public health nurse 1, $17 to $18.
Clemans-Nelson compares pay grades of similar-size counties in like market areas to complete evaluations, health department administrator Dale Palmer said.
Cost of living adjustments for other employees will be determined by the board at the January meeting, and further review of market salary ranges will take place in April, he added.
In other business, the board,
• approved a food plan permit for Buzzard's Glory, a new business preparing to open at 107 S. Second St., Coldwater. The owner is John Connaughton. The building formerly housed TD's Pub & Grill, which closed following a fire a few years ago.
The board's food plan approval is contingent upon Connaughton's receipt of a plumbing permit.
• learned 1,058 vaccines were administered by the health department in November.
• learned 2013 revenues to date are $1,219,194 and expenses are $969,647. Palmer said the health department is "in a much better place financially than last year."
• approved the hiring of public health registered nurse Leah Vantilburg. Her starting salary is $17 per hour.
• approved 2014 board of health meeting dates and full-time employee-paid holidays.
• renewed a contract with the county's soil and water district that pays the health department $10,000 to monitor and perform tests at various sites including landfills.
• renewed a contract with the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission to perform inspections. Last year the county health department was paid $3,100 for the service.
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