Health levy on local ballot

By Megan Neary -

On Nov. 6, one of the items on Fayette County voters’ ballots will be the renewal of a levy for the Fayette County Board of Health.

This 1.75-mill, 10-year levy has been in operation since the 1980s and it raises about $845,905 a year, which makes up about 43 percent of the department’s budget. The rest of the budget is made up of another levy — a five-year, .5-mill levy — grants and fees.

Deputy Health Commissioner Leigh Cannon said she expects the levy to pass at this year’s general election because, historically, these levies tend to get at least 60 percent of the vote. Last year’s .5-mill levy received over 7o percent of the vote.

She said she knows there will be many items on the ballot and “we appreciate being one that [voters] vote yes for.”

Cannon said the levy helps to support a number of public health services. Services offered by the department include: household sewage treatment system and private water system permits and inspections, blood pressure screenings, family planning pregnancy testing and STD testing and treatment, landfill licensing inspections for compliance and safety, bureau of children with medical handicaps, public swimming pool licensing inspections for compliance and safety, campground licensing and inspections, infant massage class and safe sitter class, the Vivitrol program, dog bites and rabies investigations, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, WIC nutrition and education programs, pro-breastfeeding support, peer helpers, vision and hearing screenings as public schools, Help Me Grow home visiting, family support and play groups, developmental screenings and evaluations, communicable disease surveillance, immunizations for children and adults, school clinic nursing in public school districts, health educations, tattoo and piercing studios licensing and inspections for compliance, food safety licensing and inspection of all food establishments, water sampling for private water systems, school inspections for safety and cleanliness, and breastfeeding education and mentoring.

“If we would lose the levy then some of the programs may have to be cut, staffing would be cut, and fees would go up,” Cannon said, adding, “We thank the community for their support.”

By Megan Neary

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2