Meeting Minutes
February 16, 1999

Members Present

Chairman Judy Wilson
Commissioner Diane Oberquell
Commissioner Kevin O'Sullivan

Approval of the Agenda

Pat Libbey asked that the Director's Report and the Health Officer's Report be moved just prior to the Immunization Survey Report. There being no other changes, the agenda was approved as amended.

Approval of the Minutes of January 19, 1999


Audience Reports and Requests

There were no audience reports or requests.


Mr. Libbey reminded the Board of the 2nd Annual Local Boards of Health Leadership Workshop to be held on March 24th and 25th.

Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement with Southwest Washington Health District

Kathleen Eussen, Director of Personal Health/Nursing, explained that this is an Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement which provides State AIDS Omnibus funding to the Department, for provision of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in Thurston County. Commissioner Oberquell raised a question concerning the County being released from obligation to provide services in the event funding are not available. Mr. Libbey assured the Board the original agreement contains a provision that would address this issue and will verify that and report to the Board prior to the Agreement being signed. When discussion was complete, based on the recommendation of staff, Commissioner Oberquell MOVED TO APPROVE AND EXECUTE AN AMENDMENT TO THE INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON HEALTH DISTRICT AND THURSTON COUNTY FOR THE PERIOD OF JANUARY 1, 1999 TO DECEMBER 31, 1999 FOR THE PROVISION OF HIV/AIDS PREVENTION AND CARE SERVICES, FOR AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $6,828. Commissioner O'Sullivan SECONDED THE MOTION. THE MOTION CARRIED.

Onsite Operation and Maintenance/Loan Certification Proposals

Keith Smith, Director of Environmental Health, explained that in order to proceed with the Board's wish to implement portions of a revised onsite sewage system Operation and Maintenance (O&M)/Loan Certification Program, several issues needed discussion.

Mr. Smith indicated a public hearing is needed to obtain public testimony on proposed revisions to the Environmental Health Fee Schedule. The Board asked that the public hearing be scheduled in the evening to allow the public more of an opportunity to attend. Chairman Wilson asked if there were other necessary fee changes that should be included in the fee schedule change. Commissioner Oberquell asked that if other fees are included they be distinctly identified so as not to be confusing. Commissioner Oberquell MOVED TO SET A PUBLIC HEARING DATE OF MARCH 15, 1999 AT 6:00 P.M. IN ROOM 280 OF THE THURSTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE COMPLEX TO OBTAIN PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH FEE SCHEDULE. Chairman Wilson encouraged staff to make the document available to the public as soon as possible. There was a brief discussion on public notice requirements, the County's vs. the RCW/WAC.

Art Starry answered questions concerning alternative systems. There was discussion of onsite systems that would require mandatory O&M certificates and the fact that obtaining O&M certificates for the vast majority of systems will remain voluntary.

There was discussion regarding the fiscal evaluation of the proposed programs. Mr. Starry provided a quick overview of the elements of implementation of voluntary operational certificates for both new and repaired systems. The Board asked Mr. Starry to meet with Board members individually to go over the options in more detail. Mr. Libbey indicated the issue will also be included in the March Board Briefing session.

Hardship Loan Program for Failing Onsite Sewage Systems

Keith Smith explained that the Department is requesting authorization to apply for funds from the Washington State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to be used to finance repairs of failing septic tank systems throughout Thurston County. If the application is approved, the Department will be able to continue the hardship loan program which will expire at the end of the year. Staff provided a brief summary of loans made since the program's inception including repayment history. Commissioner Oberquell MOVED TO AUTHORIZE THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT TO SUBMIT A STATE REVOLVING FUND APPLICATION FOR $100,000 FOR THE HARDSHIP LOAN PROGRAM FOR FAILING ONSITE SEWAGE SYSTEMS. Commissioner O'Sullivan SECONDED THE MOTION. THE MOTION CARRIED.

Authorization to Submit Centennial Grant Proposal for Henderson Inlet Nonpoint Pollution Reduction Project

Keith Smith reported that this grant proposal is a joint project with the Thurston Conservation District with the goal to stop the downward trend in Henderson Inlet water quality through identification and correction of nonpoint pollution sources. This is a two year project with the Department's responsibility being involvement in the stream segmenting, sanitary code compliance, sediment investigation, and public awareness tasks. Sue Davis answered questions of the Board. Commissioner Oberquell MOVED TO AUTHORIZE SUBMITTAL OF A CENTENNIAL GRANT PROPOSAL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE THURSTON CONSERVATION DISTRICT, FOR THE HENDERSON INLET NONPOINT POLLUTION REDUCTION PROJECT. Commissioner O'Sullivan SECONDED THE MOTION. THE MOTION CARRIED.

Authorization to Submit Centennial Grant Proposal for Residential Development Impact Assessment Project

Keith Smith explained that this grant would fund a study to quantify the effects of residential development on ground and surface water using nitrate as a primary indicator. It would research the literature, drill a small number of shallow monitoring wells, and analyze the results to answer questions about how much would be gained by sewering an area. Bob Mead answered questions concerning the proposed project. Mr. Smith answered questions concerning funding of staff positions. Mr. Libbey reminded the Board that once approved, the Board will be asked to approve the contract and will have another chance to discuss the project at that time.

Director's Report

Pat Libbey reported that the Day Care licensing issue, previously discussed with the Board, was recently brought up at a legislative hearing. The issue concerns the Health Department having the responsibility to assure day care facilities meet water and sewage system standards without support from DSHS who licenses the facilities.

Sherri McDonald informed the Board of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) being conducted in Thurston County. The Washington State Departments of Health, Social & Health Services and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will be establishing an ongoing adolescent health and safety surveillance system using the survey. Ms. McDonald explained how this survey is different from the Together! survey that primarily focuses on drug and alcohol and some violence issues. In reviewing the material, Commissioner Oberquell noted the parent permission sheet requires a parent or guardian return the form if they do not wish their child participate in the survey. She expressed concern that parents may not actually receive the form and consequently not return the permission form when they actually would not want their child to participate. Ms. McDonald responded that it was felt since the survey does not contain any questions about sexual activity, and is anonymous, it was appropriate and less labor and time intensive to construct the parent notification and permission form in this manner. Commissioner Oberquell expressed significant concern with not having affirmed permission.

Health Officer's Report

Dr. Diana Yu wished everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! She then reported two cases of meningitis. One case involving a child who lives in Gray's Harbor County but attends day care in Thurston County, illustrated the success of communication efforts around communicable disease issues. Dr. Yu also reported on limited influenza activity.

Thurston County Immunization Survey Report

Sherri McDonald announced that the results of the Immunization Survey completed in 1998 show that fully immunized two-year-olds in Thurston County have increased from 49% to 61%. This great improvement, in five years time, is largely due to community-wide efforts to increase the immunization status of children. Work of the Thurston-Mason Immunization Coalition was highlighted. Ms. McDonald reviewed notable findings of the survey and identified barriers to children receiving immunizations. Ms. McDonald introduced those present who were involved in the survey, including TCHD staff, survey assistants, and Pamela Johnson with the State Department of Health Immunization Program. The Board presented Certificates of Recognition to the following: Thurston-Mason Immunization Coalition, Group Health/Kaiser Permenante Foundation, Providence Health System, Providence St. Peter Hospital Foundation, Sisters of Providence, Mary Snow and Cindy Berger - for contributing to the improved immunization rates of preschool children in Thurston County. The Board congratulated certificate recipients. Chairman Wilson provided comments on the work done on this important issue. Dave Bjornson, with Providence St. Peter Hospital, acknowledged the Board of Health for the success of this public-private partnership. Acting Secretary of the Washington State Department of Health Mary Selecky, was present and provided brief comments. Refreshments were served after the meeting in celebration of the success of the project.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.



Clerk of the Board of Health


Date: March 1, 1999



KEVIN J. O'SULLIVAN, Commissioner