Stark County Board of Health members voted to join a lawsuit that seeks to recoup money the county health department and the Ohio EPA have spent to monitor and maintain the Osnaburg Township site since it closed in 2002 due to environmental concerns.
The Stark County Board of Health will join the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in a lawsuit against the owners of the defunct Exit C&D Landfill.
Board members voted Wednesday to authorize Health Commissioner Kirk Norris to join the lawsuit that seeks to recoup money the county health department and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have spent to monitor and maintain the Osnaburg Township site since it was closed in 2002 due to environmental concerns. The landfill accepted debris from construction and demolition sites, not household trash.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office, which is the legal arm for the Ohio EPA, declined to comment on county agreement, the lawsuit or a possible consent agreement with property owners Barb and Timothy Williams.
Stark County already has a $253,000 lien on the 133-acre site at 7095 Fairhill St. SE for the department’s remaining costs to cap the landfill when the Williamses didn’t have enough money to seal the landfill properly. Norris said the department continues to incur costs because its inspectors visit the site weekly to monitor its pumping system, which prevents the snow and ice that filters through the waste from contaminating the groundwater. Norris estimated the Ohio EPA’s costs at $600,000.
Until recently, officials believed they couldn’t collect the money because the property had gone through the foreclosure process. But in 2011, county health officials learned that Williamses were making money on the property by selling the trees to a logging company and the property’s mineral rights an oil and gas company.
The Williamses could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Stark County Board of Health
• Learned that Minerva Enterprises, which operates a construction and demolition debris landfill in Sandy Township, has appealed it 2013 operating license to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission. In its appeal, the company said the health department’s requirement that it provide financial assurances that would cover the cost of closing the landfill is unreasonable, unlawful and more stringent than state requirements. Health Commissioner Kirk Norris said the department had asked Minerva Enterprises to provide a higher amount of financial assurance based on state guidelines than the company originally had submitted as part of its license.
• Extended its lease with DeVille Developments until December 2019 for the 9,900 square feet it uses for its nursing services at 3969 Convenience Circle NW. The department, which now pays $113,850 a year for the lease that expires April 30, will pay $118,000 a year for the first three years of the agreement, $123,750 a year for the fourth year and $128,700 a year for the last three years of the agreement. Norris said the new rates are lower than the prices he found for comparable office space.
• Increased its fees for administering vaccines from $14 to $21 effective March 1. Norris said the state recently revised its rules to allow the department to increase the fee. He said the increase still will not cover the actual $26 that it costs the department to administer the vaccine.
Page 2 of 2 - • Learned that 581 residents reported being bitten or scratched by an animal, mostly dogs, in 2012 and 10 of them started treatment to prevent the possibility of rabies. In 2011, 521 residents had reported an animal bite or scratch and six of them had started the treatment.
• Accepted the retirement of nursing director Lynn McCoy effective Aug. 15. McCoy began with the department in 1989.
UP NEXT Meets at 8 a.m. March 13 on the third floor of the Stark County Health Department at 3951 Convenience Circle NW in Plain Township.