Oswego County officially declares home near EEE victim a 'public health nuisance'

This propery was declared a 'public health nuisance'

The Oswego County Board of Health, in an extraordinary special session Monday morning, declared a property in the town of New Haven a "public health nuisance."

As CNY Centralâ??s

Jim Kenyon reported on Thursday

, the property on County Route 6 is next door to the home where

Maggie Sue Wilcox

The 4-year-old died last summer from the mosquito borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Her death prompted a county wide effort to

combat the disease


Ellen Holst, the President of the Board of Health, pointed out that thereâ??s no direct connection to the death of Maggie Sue Wilcox. Nevertheless, she says the property presents a public health nuisance because approximately 100 bags of rotting garbage were left behind when the owner of the property, Harold Curran, died last August.

Mondayâ??s action will allow Oswego County to clean up only the garbage, but not the tons of debris that litters the property.

The Board of Health has criticized the Town of New Haven for not enforcing code regulations to clean up the property.

County Administrator Phillip Church told the Board of Health, "Somebodyâ??s got to step upâ?¦ code enforcement should have stepped up."

When reached for comment after the meeting, New Haven Town Supervisor Russell Sturtz said â??Weâ??re trying to do everything we can legally.â??

Sturtz says the town has been enforcing codes violations against Mr. Curran since 2009. He says they have been in and out of town court for years, but â??unfortunately Mr. Curran passed away just before they were able to reach an agreement to clean up the site.â??

Sturtz says â??The town board wants this cleaned up.â??

Maggie Sue Wilcoxâ??s mother Julie Wilcox and aunt Donna Wilcox attended Monday's meeting. Afterwards, Donna Wilcox said that todayâ??s action was "a good first step" for cleaning up the property.

Donna Wilcox told CNY Centralâ??s Jim Kenyon that they donâ??t know if Maggie contracted EEE as a result of exposure to the mosquitoes next door, but she pointed out that the property is a breeding ground for the insects.

There is a county wide campaign to

eradicate such breeding grounds


Read the resolution (.pdf).