County commission looks at hiring health inspector

Several local health officials were present at Tuesday's Moffat County Board of Commissioners meeting to discuss the county's need for an environmental health inspector.

The commissioners are considering how to fill a need for an environmental health inspector without creating a new county position.

Currently the county relies on random state health inspections.

"The toughest challenge will be finding the right person," said Executive Director of the V.N.A. Marilyn Bouldin.

"But if you have someone coming in from the state, they're more interested in regulation whereas a local person would be more interested in education."

Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said the commissioners are considering

what can be done to fill the position.

"I've heard loud and clear from the health community that the need is there," Raftopoulos said.

CSU Moffat County Cooperative Extension Agent Elisa Shackelton did not attend the meeting but wrote a letter outlining the responsibilities of an environmental health inspector.

These duties include:

Inspections of local food businesses

Addressing home and health related issues including asbestos, high-voltage transmission lines, mold and recyclable materials

Assessing land and water quality in the county.

One topic of discussion was the possibility of having one person fill the role as both building and health inspector.

The county is currently in the process of trying to fill the building inspector position.

After a lengthy discussion, The Memorial Hospital Administrator Randy Phelps voiced his opinion on combining the two jobs.

"I think you're trying to mix two different chemicals here," Phelps said. "I see these two disciplines as all together different."

Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton said he thinks considerations should be made about combining the job with one of three positions:

Emergency Services Manager

Natural Resources Director

Building Inspector

Administrative Services Director Debra Murray said Rio Blanco and Routt counties each have an environmental health inspector. Rio Blanco County just recently had someone assume the position.

Because of this the state inspectors will make the trip to Northwest Colorado even less than they did before, she said.

"The state just does this on a very minimal basis," she said. "The state will be here even less because Rio Blanco now has its own inspector."

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