By Gary Budzak
When Delaware General Health District (DGHD) Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson announced a renewal levy to Delaware City Council in March, she called it “a pretty good bargain.”
The DGHD’s 10-year, 0.7-mill renewal levy has been at the same millage since 1984. If renewed, property owners would continue to pay $19.20 annually per $100,000 residential property value.
“That does help us to be able to provide a lot of essential services,” Hiddleson said. “The levy funds about 55 percent of our operating budget.”
Among those essential services are investigating diseases, such as the current mumps outbreak in Delaware County. Thirty-two cases of mumps had been documented in the county as of April 30, the DGHD reports.
The Health District’s website said the agency came into existence in the early 2oth century after a worldwide flu pandemic. Officials “realized the importance of public health and the need for citizens to have a local governmental entity assist in keeping residents safe and well,” the site said.
The DGHD is a Combined Health District, serving the City of Delaware, Powell, and the rest of the county except portions annexed to Westerville, Columbus, and Dublin.
“Over the last 30 years, Delaware County has tripled in size, which now includes close to 170,000 residents that the Health District serves,” Hiddleson said.
In March, the DGHD received accreditation status through the Public Health Accreditation Board, one of 31 accredited health departments nationwide and one of four in the state.
“We want residents to know that we are dedicated to their health as evidenced by our recent accreditation status,” Hiddleson said. “This includes the very best in health education programs and protection and prevention services.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-363-1161 ext. 340 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.