LOCKPORT – Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said Friday he expects to hear within two weeks whether he is approved for a second six-year term in office.
Dr. Robert Bauer, president of the Board of Health, disclosed Thursday that the board had sent a letter to the state Health Department last month, asking for Stapleton to remain in place.
The Board of Health chooses the health director. The County Legislature has no say in the process, although it votes on the director’s salary.
However, the county health chief’s résumé and accomplishments must be approved by the state health commissioner, Dr. Nirav R. Shah, before the appointment is final.
Stapleton said he received a call from Albany on Friday. “We should have an answer by the end of next week or the following week,” he said.
The state Health Department did not respond to a request for information about the status of Stapleton’s appointment.
His first term expired Jan. 9, so he is serving as a holdover for now. He served nearly a year as interim director in 2007 before his approval came from Albany.
Stapleton’s 2014 salary is budgeted at $108,967. He said he hasn’t discussed with the Board of Health whether it should recommend a further increase to the Legislature.
The county budget increased Stapleton’s pay 2 percent from its 2013 level. When he started as director, he was earning $87,014 a year.
In other Board of Health matters, Environmental Health Director James J. Devald reported that the department has applied for a five-year, $1 million state grant to expand its Healthy Neighborhoods Program into Lockport.
Devald said the program, which has worked mainly in Niagara Falls since its inception, would add four mobile home parks in the Town of Lockport and the poorer sections of the City of Lockport to its target areas.
The program attempts to assist residents in poor areas to combat asthma, lead poisoning from old paint and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Injury prevention, anti-rabies efforts and rodent control will receive an increased emphasis if the funding request is approved.
Devald said the City of Lockport target area is already the scene of a lead paint program.
North of the Erie Canal, the area is bounded roughly by Glenwood Avenue and Scovell, Green and North Transit streets.
South of the canal, the areas north of High Street and west of Washburn Street are targeted, along with a neighborhood east of Washburn and north of High, bounded by on the north by Elmwood Avenue and on the east by Hyde Park.