CHAPTER 368f

DISTRICT DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH

Table of Contents

Sec. 19a-240. (Formerly Sec. 19-105). Definition of “board”.

Sec. 19a-241. (Formerly Sec. 19-106). Formation of district departments. Board.

Sec. 19a-242. (Formerly Sec. 19-107). Appointment of director of health. Removal. Sanitarians. Authorized agent.

Sec. 19a-243. (Formerly Sec. 19-108). District rules and regulations. Powers of district. Meetings. Expenses.

Sec. 19a-244. (Formerly Sec. 19-109). Qualifications, term and duties of director of health. Employees.

Sec. 19a-245. (Formerly Sec. 19-110). Reimbursement by state.

Sec. 19a-246. (Formerly Sec. 19-111). Withdrawal from district.

Secs. 19a-247 to 19a-249. Reserved


Sec. 19a-240. (Formerly Sec. 19-105). Definition of “board”. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, “board” means a board of a district department of health created as provided in section 19a-241.

(1949 Rev., S. 3876; P.A. 00-27, S. 19, 24.)

History: Sec. 19-105 transferred to Sec. 19a-240 in 1983; P.A. 00-27 made technical changes, effective May 1, 2000.

Sec. 19a-241. (Formerly Sec. 19-106). Formation of district departments. Board. (a) Towns, cities and boroughs, by vote of their respective legislative bodies, after a public hearing, may unite to form district departments of health, which shall be instrumentalities of their constituent municipalities. The affairs of any such district department of health shall be managed by a board, which shall have all the duties exercised or performed immediately prior to the effective date of the creation of such district by directors of health or boards of health of the municipalities and which shall exercise all the authority as to public health required of or conferred upon the constituent municipalities by law and shall have the powers of the district set forth in section 19a-243. Towns, cities and boroughs may, in like manner, join a district department of health previously formed with the approval of the board of such district.

(b) Each town, city and borough, which has so voted to become a part of any such district, shall, by its board of selectmen, city council or board of burgesses, appoint one person to be a member of such board. Any town, city or borough having a population of more than ten thousand inhabitants, as annually estimated by the Department of Public Health by a method comparable or similar to that used by the United States Bureau of the Census, shall be entitled to one additional representative for each additional ten thousand population or part thereof, provided no such municipality shall have more than five representatives on a district board of health. The term of office for members of the district board of health shall be three years, except that: (1) A district board of health containing only one town may elect to have one-year or three-year terms of office, and (2) during the initial formation of a board with three-year appointments, appointments shall be so made that approximately one-third of the board shall be appointed for one year, approximately one-third appointed for two years and approximately one-third appointed for three years. Members of the district board of health shall serve without compensation but shall receive their necessary expenses while in the performance of their official duties.

(1949 Rev., S. 3877; 1959, P.A. 236; 1961, P.A. 391, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 527, S. 1; P.A. 77-598, S. 2; 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 97-96, S. 1; P.A. 99-234, S. 10, 14.)

History: 1959 act provided for annual estimate of population by state department of health rather than using last-completed U.S. census; 1961 act added description of duties and authority of board, deleted requirement that appointment by municipality be annual, provided for one rather than two appointments per town with additional representation for additional population, limited number of representatives to five and added provisions re length of terms and re reimbursement for expenses; 1969 act made provisions applicable to judges of probate serving at any time during any year after December 1, 1967, rather than to those who were subject to Sec. 45-26 before January 1, 1968, deleted other date references which prevented continued applicability of provisions, required filing of sworn statements by person ceasing to hold office and by personal representative of person who dies while holding office, specified that payments from net income are not deductible from gross income, required successors to incumbents taking office after February first file estimates of annual net income and increased penalty from 9% to 10% of deficiency amount and interest from 6% to 9%; P.A. 77-598 restated provision re admission of towns, cities and boroughs to previously formed districts, making admission contingent upon board approval rather than upon vote of municipality which formed the district originally; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 19-106 transferred to Sec. 19a-241 in 1983; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 97-96 amended Subsec. (b) to allow one- or three-year terms for single-town districts, where previously three-year terms were required; P.A. 99-234 amended Subsec. (a) by adding “which shall be instrumentalities of their constituent municipalities” after provision re formation of district departments of health and by adding “of the district” in the reference to the powers set forth in Sec. 19a-243, effective June 29, 1999.

Cited. 40 CA 501.

Sec. 19a-242. (Formerly Sec. 19-107). Appointment of director of health. Removal. Sanitarians. Authorized agent. (a) The board shall, after approval of the Commissioner of Public Health, appoint some discreet person, possessing the qualifications specified in section 19a-244, to be director of health for such district, and if he is not selected within sixty days from the formation of any such district, or if a vacancy in said office continues to exist for sixty days, such director shall then be appointed by said commissioner. The board may appoint a person to serve as the acting director of health during such time as the director of health is absent or a vacancy exists, provided such acting director shall meet the qualifications for directors of health in section 19a-244, or such other qualifications as may be approved by said commissioner. Upon the appointment of a director of health under the provisions of this section, the terms of office of the directors of health of the towns, cities or boroughs forming such district shall terminate.

(b) Such director of health may be removed whenever a majority of the directors of such health district find that such director of health is guilty of misconduct, material neglect of duty or incompetence in the conduct of his office.

(c) On and after July 1, 1988, each district health department shall provide for the services of a sanitarian certified under chapter 395 to work under the direction of the district director of health. Where practical, the district director of health may act as the sanitarian.

(d) As used in this chapter, “authorized agent” means a sanitarian certified under chapter 395 and any individual certified for a specific program of environmental health by the Commissioner of Public Health in accordance with the Public Health Code.

(1949 Rev., S. 3878; P.A. 75-573, S. 2; P.A. 77-598, S. 3; P.A. 78-303, S. 66, 136; P.A. 87-521, S. 4; 87-589, S. 48, 87; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)

History: P.A. 75-573 added Subsec. (b) re removal of director of health; P.A. 77-598 added provisions re appointment of acting director of health; P.A. 78-303 replaced public health council with commissioner of health services; Sec. 19-107 transferred to Sec. 19a-242 in 1983; P.A. 87-521 added Subsecs. (c) and (d) re sanitarians and authorized agents; P.A. 87-589 moved provision authorizing local director of health to act as sanitarian from Subsec. (d) to Subsec. (c); P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

See Sec. 19a-209a re authority to issue permits for well drilling on residential premises near approved community water supply system.

Sec. 19a-243. (Formerly Sec. 19-108). District rules and regulations. Powers of district. Meetings. Expenses. (a) Each board may make and adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the promotion of general health within the district not in conflict with law or with the Public Health Code. The powers of each district shall include but not be limited to the following enumerated powers: (1) To sue and be sued; (2) to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the health district; (3) to make and from time to time amend and repeal bylaws, rules and regulations; (4) to acquire real estate; (5) to provide for the financing of the programs, projects or other functions of the district in the manner described in subsection (b) of this section; and (6) to have such other powers as are necessary to properly carry out its powers as an independent entity of government.

(b) A district may, without limiting its authority under other provisions of law, borrow money for the purpose of carrying out or administering a district project, program or other function authorized under this chapter, or for the purpose of refinancing existing indebtedness, or temporarily in anticipation of receipt of current revenues, and provided the board shall hold a public hearing on any such proposed borrowing which is estimated by the board to increase the annual apportionment of district expenses made pursuant to subsection (c) of this section by more than seven per cent over levels currently established. The board shall give one week’s notice of such hearing in a newspaper having a circulation in each constituent municipality of the district. The district may enter into note, loan or other agreements providing that such borrowings shall be payable from or secured by one or more of the following: (1) A pledge, lien, mortgage or other security interest in any or all of the income, proceeds, revenues and property, real or personal, of its projects, assets, programs or other functions, including the proceeds of payments, grants, loans, advances, guarantees or contributions from the federal government, the state of Connecticut, the constituent municipalities of the district or any other source; or (2) a pledge, lien, mortgage or other security interest in the property, real or personal, of projects to be financed by the borrowing. Such borrowings and obligations shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any debt limitation or restrictions on, and shall not be obligations of, the state of Connecticut or any municipality. No constituent municipality of a district shall be liable for any such borrowing or obligation of the district upon default. Neither members of the board nor any person executing on behalf of the district any note, mortgage, pledge, loan, security or other agreement in connection with the borrowing of money by a district shall be personally liable on the obligations thereunder or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the entrance into such agreements. Each pledge, agreement or assignment made for the benefit or security of any such borrowing entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be in effect until the principal and interest on such borrowing for the benefit of which the same were made have been fully paid, or until provision is made for the payment in the manner provided therein. Any pledge or assignment made in respect of such borrowing secured thereby shall be valid and binding from the time when the pledge or assignment is made; any income, proceeds, revenues or property so pledged or assigned and thereafter received by the district shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge, without any physical delivery thereof or further act; and the lien of any such pledge or assignment shall be valid and binding as against parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the district irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof. Neither the resolution, trust indenture, agreement, assignment or other instrument by which a pledge is created need be recorded or filed, except for the recording of any mortgage or lien on real property or on any interest in real property.

(c) The board shall meet at least quarterly and at other times determined by the chairperson. At its September meeting it shall elect a chairperson and it shall furnish the necessary offices and equipment to enable it to carry out its duties. The board may elect an executive committee, consisting of the chairperson and two other members, and the director of health, who shall serve without a vote, and such executive committee shall have power to act when the board is not in session. The fiscal year of each district department of health shall be from July first to June thirtieth, and, by June thirtieth in each year, the board shall estimate the amount of money required to pay the costs and expenses of the district during the ensuing fiscal year, provided, if any municipality within the district has a fiscal year which begins on July first, such estimate shall be made by April thirtieth of each year. Such board shall hold a public hearing on its proposed budget, two weeks’ notice of which shall be given in a newspaper having a circulation in each constituent municipality of such district. From time to time the board shall draw upon the treasurer of each town, city or borough within the district a proportionate share of the expenses of such district, from such funds as may have been appropriated by each, to pay the cost of operating the district, including debt service on borrowings of the district, such apportionment to be made equitable on a per capita basis as established by the last annual population estimate by the Department of Public Health for each participating town, city or borough.

(1949 Rev., S. 3879; 1961, P.A. 391, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 527, S. 2; 688, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 178; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 92-3; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 99-234, S. 11, 14; P.A. 00-27, S. 20, 24.)

History: 1961 act specified chairman’s election be in September, deleted requirement that board determine relative amount of service to be performed in each municipality, added provisions re promulgation of rules and regulations, board meetings and executive committee, provided that board draw proportionate share of expenses of each district, that such apportionment be made on a per capita basis rather than on the basis of average receipts for the preceding three months and deleted provisions authorizing departments to use additional funds secured from federal or official agencies and to disburse money so received; 1969 acts divided section into subsections, moved provision re election of chairman and re offices and equipment into Subsec. (b), enumerated various powers of board, required quarterly meetings rather than annual meetings in September and specified that director of health has no vote; 1971 act required budget estimates be made during April if a municipality in the district has fiscal year beginning on July 1 and added provision re public hearing on budget; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 19-108 transferred to Sec. 19a-243 in 1983; P.A. 92-3 amended Subsec. (b) to require budget estimates for the health districts by June thirtieth instead of during June and, if any municipality within the district has a fiscal year beginning July first, by April thirtieth instead of during April; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-234 amended Subsec. (a) by changing “powers of the board” to “powers of each district” and adding provision re financing of programs, projects or other district functions to list of powers, added new Subsec. (b) re borrowing money, designated former Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c) and amended same by adding reference to “debt service on borrowings of the district” and made technical changes, effective June 29, 1999; P.A. 00-27 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective May 1, 2000.

See Sec. 7-425 et seq. for duties re retirement of employees.

See Sec. 12-146a re authority to revoke license or permit to do business for an enterprise which has failed to pay personal property taxes.

See Sec. 19a-245 re funds received from state and federal sources.

Sec. 19a-244. (Formerly Sec. 19-109). Qualifications, term and duties of director of health. Employees. On and after October 1, 2010, any person nominated to be the director of health shall (1) be a licensed physician and hold a degree in public health from an accredited school, college, university or institution, or (2) hold a graduate degree in public health from an accredited school, college or institution. The educational requirements of this section shall not apply to any director of health nominated or otherwise appointed as director of health prior to October 1, 2010. The board may specify in a written agreement with such director the term of office, which shall not exceed three years, salary and duties required of and responsibilities assigned to such director in addition to those required by the general statutes or the Public Health Code, if any. He shall be removed during the term of such written agreement only for cause after a public hearing by the board on charges preferred, of which reasonable notice shall have been given. He shall devote his entire time to the performance of such duties as are required of directors of health by the general statutes or the Public Health Code and as the board specifies in its written agreement with him; and shall act as secretary and treasurer of the board, without the right to vote. He shall give to the district a bond with a surety company authorized to transact business in the state, for the faithful performance of his duties as treasurer, in such sum and upon such conditions as the board requires. He shall be the executive officer of the district department of health. Full-time employees of a city, town or borough health department at the time such city, town or borough votes to form or join a district department of health shall become employees of such district department of health. Such employees may retain their rights and benefits in the pension system of the town, city or borough by which they were employed and shall continue to retain their active participating membership therein until retired. Such employees shall pay into such pension system the contributions required of them for their class and membership. Any additional employees to be hired by the district or any vacancies to be filled shall be filled in accordance with the rules and regulations of the merit system of the state of Connecticut and the employees who are employees of cities, towns or boroughs which have adopted a local civil service or merit system shall be included in their comparable grade with fully attained seniority in the state merit system. Such employees shall perform such duties as are prescribed by the director of health. In the event of the withdrawal of a town, city or borough from the district department, or in the event of a dissolution of any district department, the employees thereof, originally employed therein, shall automatically become employees of the appropriate town, city or borough’s board of health.

(1949 Rev., S. 3880; 1969, P.A. 688, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 183; P.A. 78-303, S. 67, 136; P.A. 79-85; P.A. 82-8; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 10-117, S. 46.)

History: 1969 act replaced statement that necessary assistants and clerks be appointed subject to approval of board with specific provisions re personnel of city, town or borough health departments as employees of district health department and deleted provision that compensation be fixed by the board; 1971 act permitted health director to be “trained in public health and hold a master’s degree in public health” as alternative qualification; P.A. 78-303 replaced public health council with commissioner of health services; P.A. 79-85 added provision re written agreement with director setting term of office and duties in addition to those required by state law or public health code; P.A. 82-8 specified that district health departments must hire full-time employees of town, city or borough which joins or forms the district department where previously part-time employees were included by implication through use of term “personnel” without reference to type of employment; Sec. 19-109 transferred to Sec. 19a-244 in 1983; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 10-117 provided that on and after October 1, 2010, any person nominated to be director of health shall be a licensed physician with a degree in public health or hold a graduate degree in public health, deleted former training and experience requirements and exempted persons appointed or nominated to be director of health prior to October 1, 2010, from revised educational requirements.

Sec. 19a-245. (Formerly Sec. 19-110). Reimbursement by state. Upon application to the Department of Public Health, each health district that has a total population of fifty thousand or more, or serves three or more municipalities irrespective of the combined total population of such municipalities, shall annually receive from the state an amount equal to one dollar and eighty-five cents per capita for each town, city and borough of such district, provided (1) the Commissioner of Public Health approves the public health program and budget of such health district, and (2) the towns, cities and boroughs of such district appropriate for the maintenance of the health district not less than one dollar per capita from the annual tax receipts. Such district departments of health are authorized to use additional funds, which the Department of Public Health may secure from federal agencies or any other source and which it may allot to such district departments of health. The district treasurer shall disburse the money so received upon warrants approved by a majority of the board and signed by its chairman and secretary. The Comptroller shall quarterly, in July, October, January and April, upon such application and upon the voucher of the Commissioner of Public Health, draw the Comptroller’s order on the State Treasurer in favor of such district department of health for the amount due in accordance with the provisions of this section and under rules prescribed by the commissioner. Any moneys remaining unexpended at the end of a fiscal year shall be included in the budget of the district for the ensuing year. This aid shall be rendered from appropriations made from time to time by the General Assembly to the Department of Public Health for this purpose.

(1949 Rev., S. 3881; 1963, P.A. 508; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 78-251, S. 1, 2, 7; 78-303, S. 68, 136; P.A. 85-421, S. 2, 3; P.A. 87-414, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-180, S. 58, 166; P.A. 98-250, S. 17, 39; P.A. 00-216, S. 3, 28; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-2, S. 62; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 41.)

History: 1963 act provided for reimbursement to health district instead of constituent municipalities, made state’s payment quarterly instead of annually in June, deleted provision that sums received be one-half those actually paid and limits of $4,000 per town and $20,000 in the aggregate, and added provisions that amount received be $0.25 per capita, limited maximum amount received by district annually to $100,000, added provision re additional funds from federal agencies or other sources and provided for disbursement of money upon warrants approved by board majority and signed by chairman and secretary; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner and department of health with commissioner and department of health services, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-251 increased per capita amount received from $0.25 to $0.30 contingent upon approval of public health program and budget by commissioner, increased maximum amount received to $120,000, removed limit on additional funds of amount equal to one-half the total district budget and, in conjunction with P.A. 78-303, referred to rules prescribed by commissioner rather than by public health council; Sec. 19-110 transferred to Sec. 19a-245 in 1983; P.A. 85-421 increased quarterly per capita payments to health districts from $0.30 to $0.425 for each town, city and borough of a district which has a population of 5,000 or less and $0.325 for each town, city or borough of a district which has a population of more than 5,000 and increased maximum annual payment to a district from $120,000 to $145,000; P.A. 87-414 increased the per capita payments to $0.445 per capita and $0.38 per capita on basis previously established and deleted the annual cap on payments to districts; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-180 changed “treasurer” to “State Treasurer”, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 98-250 changed the amount received from the state from $0.445 for municipalities under 5,000 and $0.38 for municipalities over 5,000 annually to $2.09 and $1.79, annually, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 00-216 made technical changes and increased annual per capita payments from $2.09 to $2.32 and from $1.79 to $1.99, effective July 1, 2000; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 decreased annual per capita payments from $2.32 to $1.94 per populations of 5,000 or less, and from $1.99 to $0.66 for populations of more than 5,000, and made a technical change, effective August 20, 2003; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-2 increased annual per capita payment from $1.94 to $2.43 for populations of 5,000 or less, and from $1.66 to $2.08 for populations of 5,000 or more, effective July 1, 2007; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 added requirement that health district have total population of 50,000 or more, or serve 3 or more municipalities irrespective of total combined population, in order to receive state payments, revised payment rate to $1.85 per capita applicable to all municipalities in the health district and deleted provisions re $2.43 per capita payment made to municipality with population of 5,000 or less and $2.08 per capita payment made to municipality with population of more than 5,000, effective October 6, 2009.

Sec. 19a-246. (Formerly Sec. 19-111). Withdrawal from district. (a) Any constituent town, city or borough may, by vote passed prior to January first in any year, withdraw from the district, such withdrawal to become effective on the first day of July following, provided such city, town or borough shall have been a member of the district for at least twenty-four months prior to such vote of withdrawal. A city, town or borough on withdrawal shall at once resume such status with respect to the appointment of its director of health, employees and board of health as it held prior to becoming a member of the district as provided in section 19a-244. Employees shall not lose any benefits or civil services status as a result of the withdrawal from the district.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no withdrawal or termination of participation by any constituent municipality shall affect any pledge, agreement, assignment or mortgage of any income, revenue proceeds or property of a district made for the benefit or security of any borrowing of the district entered into pursuant to subsection (b) of section 19a-243.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, no district shall cease to exist until such time as payment or provision for payment of the outstanding balance of borrowings of such district entered into pursuant to subsection (b) of section 19a-243 is made.

(1949 Rev., S. 3882; 1961, P.A. 391, S. 3; 1969, P.A. 688, S. 3; P.A. 99-234, S. 12, 14.)

History: 1961 act provided that vote for withdrawal be prior to January first rather than April first, required membership for at least 24 months prior to vote or withdrawal and provided that town, city or borough resume status “with respect to the appointment of its director of health and board of health” as it held prior to district membership; 1969 act included references to status re appointment of employees and added provision protecting benefits and civil service status of employees; Sec. 19-111 transferred to Sec. 19a-246 in 1983; P.A. 99-234 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added new Subsecs. (b) and (c) re exceptions to statutory provisions upon withdrawal from district, effective June 29, 1999.

Secs. 19a-247 to 19a-249. Reserved for future use.