7 Townships Ask Courts to Stop County Takeover of Health Inspections

Howard Lazarus.
Image via Media News Grou File Photo.
Howard Lazarus, Delaware County executive director, whose September letter about health inspections triggered the court injunction request.

Seven townships have filed a court injunction to prevent Delaware County’s new health department from taking over municipal health inspections, writes Kathleen E. Carey for the Daily Times.

“Townships cannot effectively manage their budgets with the lack of certainty that exists around their staffing needs and whether they will be able to recoup those costs from fees for the health inspection services they provide,” said attorney James Byrne, representing Springfield, Ridley, and Aston.

Other municipalities involved include Upper Chichester, Darby Township, Tinicum, and Maple.

The inspections pertain to retail food establishments, food trucks, private wells and on-site septic systems, public pools, and other establishments.

Byrne said the injunction is needed because the county has not provided a clear idea of when the department will be able to take on the health inspection responsibilities.

“The bottom line is that the townships need certainty when overseeing their budget, and that is severely lacking at this point.”

Delaware County Public Relations Director Adrienne Marofsky emphasized that state law requires the county to take over local inspections. All 49 municipalities were aware of the transitional process months ago and urged to prepare,  she added.

Read more at the Daily Times about a lawsuit to prevent the county from taking over municipal health inspections.