[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 2-12-1979 (Ch. 11, Art. II, of the 1985 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Council shall appoint a Public Health Officer, who shall enforce all the ordinances of the Town relating to the public health and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him from time to time by the Town Council.
The Public Health Officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and dwelling premises in order that he may perform his duty of safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections the Public Health Officer is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times during daylight hours all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and dwelling premises.
The Public Health Officer shall carefully and promptly examine into the state and condition of every place within the Town where he may be credibly informed, or have valid grounds to believe, that there exists any matter or thing or condition of things which is, or is likely to become, injurious to the public health.
The owner, operator or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Public Health Officer free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and dwelling premises, at all reasonable times during daylight hours, for the purpose of any inspection, examination or survey under this chapter. Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit shall give the owner or operator thereof, or any person designated by the owner or operator, access to any part of such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit or dwelling premises, at all reasonable times during daylight hours for the purpose of examination for making such repairs, alterations or corrections as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
In the event that the owner/occupant refuses to allow entry by the Public Health Officer while said Officer is in the process of conducting the responsibilities cited in §§ 220-2 through 220-4, said Officer shall have no power to force entry; however, in the event of this refusal or resistance by the owner or caretaker, the penalties enunciated in § 1-9, General penalty; continuing violations, of Article II, Violations and Penalties, of Chapter 1, General Provisions, shall apply.
Whenever it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Public Health Officer that there exists upon any premises owned or occupied by any person or persons any matter or thing that is injurious to the public health, it shall be the duty of said Officer to cause the owner or occupant of such premises to be notified in writing of the existence of such nuisance or condition, and to direct such owner or occupant forthwith to remove or abate the same; and if such nuisance or condition shall not be abated within 24 hours after such notice shall have been received, such owner or occupant shall, for every day he shall suffer such nuisance or condition to remain after the notice aforesaid, be punished as provided in § 1-9, General penalty; continuing violations, of Article II, Violations and Penalties, of Chapter 1, General Provisions.
If the nuisance or condition shall not be abated by the owner or occupant of the premises where such nuisance or condition exists, at or before the expiration of the notice mentioned in § 220-6, it shall be the duty of the Public Health Officer to cause, or to authorize in writing the Town sergeant or either of the constables or police constables of this Town, forthwith, to cause, such nuisance or condition to be abated. The Town Council shall order the expenses thereof to be paid out of the Town treasury to the Officer abating the same, which expenses, so paid as aforesaid, shall be recovered from the person causing or continuing said nuisance or condition, in an action of debt in the name of the Town Treasurer, before any court of competent jurisdiction.
Whenever in the opinion of the Public Health Officer, after a reasonable examination, he may consider any well or cistern dangerous to health, he may order said well or cistern to be permanently closed by some suitable method; and whenever, in the opinion of the Public Health Officer, it shall become necessary he shall order the owner or lessee of any cesspool, privy, vault or sink-drain to empty the same, or cause the same to be emptied.
Whenever it shall appear to the Public Health Officer after a reasonable examination that there exists upon any premises evidence of rodent infestation and/or conditions conducive to such, he may take action to remove said infestation and/or conditions. In completing this responsibility, the Public Health Officer shall notify the premises owner and/or occupants in writing that such action will either be initiated by the Town if funding is available or that the owner/occupant must take the responsibility to remove the infestation and/or condition.
Editor's Note: State law reference--Rodent control and eradication, G.L. 1956, § 23-7.1-1 et seq.