VERSAILLES – Health officer Dr. David Welsh questioned Ripley County Health Department members July 9 about what to do with circumstances that don’t fall under the Indiana State Department of Health.
“We had a complaint from a homeowner in one of our towns who has a health issue because the property across the street is not being kept up. Poison ivy and sumac are growing there, and his wife is extremely allergic.”
It “falls between the cracks because the state doesn’t regulate it .... It’s a nuisance, and the question is how do you handle a nuisance situation? How do you approach when a citizen is having trouble? It may be a unique situation where it doesn’t fall under a state ordinance, but you want to help these folks.”
President Dr. Harley Robinson said, “My first thought would be to ask if there is a nuisance ordinance for that town. If there is, you need to look at it and demand that the owner clean it up .... There’s probably not going to be just one policy for all the things falling through the cracks. We may need to adopt something for each case.”
Administrator Tony Schneider noted, “I think we need ordinances to help us establish what we do, and a nuisance ordinance is something we can do.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.
OTHER NEWS: • Public health nurse Vicki Powell said there has been an increase in cases of campylobacter and salmonella, bacterial infections. "We have had three or four (cases) a month compared to one or two .... It's because of the time of year. People are not washing fruit and vegetables well enough or are not washing their hands. Welsh added, "There also are those people who cut up their chicken and don't clean up the cutting board before cutting up the melon .... Young children and the elderly don't tolerate salmonella well." • During heat waves, the health officer wanted everyone to "keep tabs on our seasoned citizens. Make sure they're OK, their air conditioning is working and they have cold drinks. A lot of older citizens don't ask for help."