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Counties consider public health ordinance changes

IVANHOE — Counties in Minnesota are masking changes to local public health ordinances to reflect 2019 recommendations from state officials.

The Lincoln County Board set a public hearing at their meeting this week. The hearing will be an opportunity for the public to comment on proposed ordinance changes. It will take place Dec. 9 at 4:05 p.m. as part of a regular board session.

Jason Kloss, a health inspector for the six-county Southwest Health and Human Services agency, briefed the board on the planned revisions.

He said they’re based on changes made to state health codes in 2019. He added that they aren’t related to the COVID pandemic.

“Most of what will change relates to code enforcement,” Kloss said. “There’s new language in the codes to clearly spell out the state’s role for enforcement. It needs to be reflected in local county public health ordinances.”

He said a public hearing on similar ordinance changes in Murray County, which took place on Tuesday, did not lead to any public comment.

A public notice will be printed that specifies the proposed revisions. Organizations that get public health licenses will also be notified.

County public health ordinances affect a variety of facilities including restaurants, lodging businesses, public pools, and campgrounds.

“It shouldn’t affect the license holders, except possibly if there’s an enforcement action,” Kloss said. “The basic process of obtaining and renewing a license will stay the same.”

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