Salem schedules March 19 hearing on joining Uncas Health Care District

Salem - The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a public hearing for March 19 on joining the Uncas Health Care District.

District membership will bring more services to town for approximately the same cost, and residents deserve a stronger public health system, First Selectman Kevin Lyden said on Tuesday.

Salem spends $27,013 to provide sanitation services, business inspections, permitting for restaurants, flu shots, blood pressure checks for seniors and water testing at Gardner Lake. That cost includes the salaries of part-time health workers and mileage for the sanitarian and food inspector, among other expenses.

For an extra $125 a year, Salem can join neighboring towns such as Bozrah, Montville and Norwich in the Uncas Health Care District and have access to a full-time director of health and a variety of services not currently provided, Lyden said, including testing for pools and private wells, inspections of day care programs and group homes, smoking cessation services, safe home evaluations, immunizations and lead screenings.

The district also focuses on disease prevention by providing education about Lyme disease, healthy nutrition, pest control, stress reduction and other potential health hazards.

The hearing, which will be held at Town Hall, will include a PowerPoint presentation about the benefits of the district.

The Board of Selectmen will make a final decision about whether to join the district at a special meeting at 5 p.m. on March 20.

k.catalfamo@theday.com

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