Public Health (marketing & recyclables, health plan 2000-2003 & violence-free families, community clinics)

Marketing? Sounds like something that you would read on the business page. Actually, the county owns the recycling center on Rice St. It is considered the recycling center of last resort. It is a blighted area which irks Janice to no end because to Janice and the North End Community, it is the "gateway to Rice St." At the Board meeting of 11/02/99, Janice strongly defended her position that the Boardís intent, after the year 2000, is to close the Recycling Center at 775 Rice St. and return it to the property tax rolls. "The building is in terrible shape and it would take more than $2 million to repair. The recycle area would have to be cleaned up and landscaped in such a way that it would be less offensive. Traffic congestion and roadways are inadequate for the site. I know that we are the recycling center of last resort, but this can be accomplished by controlling the recycling market through a triggering mechanism when the market is weak. There is no need to be in the business more than that."

Commissioner Guerin said, "We are limited as to how much we can subsidize. The reality is that a complete collapse in the market would send recycled items to landfills."

Janice continued, "As far as the city wanting to study a buy out and continuation of recycling for the city, thatís fine, but if they want to buy the land/operation, we want market value. As a land locked county, we need to maximize land use that has always been my focus. The spirit and intent of my motion last week is to return it to the tax rolls."

According to the Pioneer Press, 10/20/99, several commissioners noted the money the county would save by closing the center. The county, for instance, puts $250,000 into the centerís operations each year. Also, money could be obtained from selling the building and the land and putting it back on the tax rolls.

"What I see is a savings of repair costs as well as operational ones. Property returned to the tax rolls will bring dollars in. A $500,000 market support fund is the more prudent way to go. These dollars may not even need to be spent. The argument by city staff that recycling cost may rise for St. Paul residents is a bit flawed; county costs will disappear, itíll be a wash cost wise," Janice concluded. Bottom line: Ramsey County is not backing away from a commitment to recycling now or in the future.

The 2000-2003 Saint Paul-Ramsey County Community Health Services Plan is written and on its way to the State Department of Public Health. You can find the complete plan by going to: www.co.ramsey.mn.us, clicking Public Health and then scrolling to the Plan. Once finalized, the Plan will be available in print.

According to the Plan summary, community health services planning has been a cooperative effort between the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County since the early 1990s. This is the first full plan as a combined health board.

At the 10/5/99 Board meeting, Jane Norbin, Public Health Department, said, "This is the end of a year-long planning process that has extensively involved the community. The Community Health Services Plan is required by the State on a four-year basis. In two years it can be updated, if necessary. The input from this Plan came from the community groups and individuals; the St. Paul City Council; and the Community Health Services Advisory Committee (CHSAC)." Further in her presentation, Norbin explained, "The Plan focuses activities to the problems identified. Outcomes are being used as a measure of evaluation.

Work plans for each year will be developedóthose will be more specific. Staff will come back with a policy discussion as requested, once the 2000 work plan is developed.

As Chair of the Public Health Committee, Janice took special interest in the plan. Janice wanted to be sure that the plan is prioritized so that "goals and objectives" for addressing the problems identified through the assessment process had a "decent" chance of being accomplished. At the 10/5/99 Board meeting, Commissioner Rettman said that the changes made by Commissioners and the Advisory Committee have been incorporated into the final draft. The plan summary is excellent.

Rettman Report (Nov/Dec 1999) | The Connection is Coming | Public Health Building | Community Clinics | Season's Greetings

Commissioner Rettman's Home Page