Lincoln County Board of Health – Roles and Responsibilities
The Lincoln County Board of Health is granted the authority to protect and promote the health of Lincoln County residents as outlined by RCW 70.05.060. State law allows the Board to set countywide public health policy, enact and enforce local public health regulations, enforce state public health laws, prevent the spread of infections diseases and establishes fee scheduled for certain licenses and permits (such as food permits for restaurants).
The Board of Health:
- Supervises the health of Lincoln County residents by voicing and advocating priorities for the protection of public health;
- Collaborates with the Public Health Director and Health Officer to set an annual work plan which creates opportunities for action within the limits of the Board’s workload and legal authority; and
- May enact local rules and regulations as necessary to preserve, promote and improve the health of the public and authorize for the enforcement thereof.
The Board’s Powers:
The Board’s operating rules provide three primary tools available to the Board: enactment of rules & regulations, resolutions, and guidelines & recommendations.
- Rules and Regulations: Codified in the Board of Health Code, the Board enacts countywide rules and regulations, which establish requirements to broadly promote public health, prevent and control the spread of infection disease, abate nuisances, and establish fee schedules for licenses, permits and other services. Rules and regulations have the force of law and are general and permanent in nature.
- Resolutions: Resolutions are policy statements of the Board and are not considered permanent. Unlike rules and regulations, resolutions do not have the force of law and do not require a public hearing. Resolutions are typically used to express support for a project, program or policy.
- Guidelines & Recommendations: Guidelines and recommendations provide policy guidance and express the Board’s current thinking. They are advisory and, like resolutions, do not have the force of law.
In addition to the above, advocacy is another strong role for the Board of Health. Board members can speak to the media, constituents and other elected officials and county leaders to educate about health matters.
The Board of Health does not have appropriation authority. The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners has sole appropriation authority over matters of public health. Any Board program or initiative requiring funding must go through the county budget appropriation process.
The Board has the authority to enact permit or license fees which may not exceed reasonable cost of providing that service.