Skip Navigation
Welcome to the official website for Harwich, MA
This table is used for column layout.
Harwich Town Seal
  • About Harwich
  • Town Departments
  • Town Calendars
  • Board of Selectmen
  • Boards & Committees
  • Agendas & Minutes
  • Reports, Data, Documents & Maps
  • Permits & Licensing
  • Community Links
  • Online Payments
  • Channel 18
  • Assessor's Searchable Database
  • Opportunities
  • Send Us Comments
  • Subscribe to News
  • Home Page

Minutes 11-01-2010
Attachment NameAttachment SizeAttachment Date
Size: 62K
Last Updated: 2012/3/19
                        MONDAY,   NOVEMBER  1, 2010 AT 6:00 PM


-Agenda – 2 pp
Chairman Dr. Stanley Kocot called the meeting to order at 6:00.

Draft October 5, 2010 minutes – 8 pp
Updated Draft October 5, 2010 minutes- 7pp
Motion Ms Watson moved to approve the minutes of October 5, 2010 as amended; Ms Howell seconding; motion passed unanimously.  Amendment included correction p. 4, seconder of motion should have been Dr. Hurst as Ms Watson made the motion.

III     6:00 – 6:30 p.m. BOARD OF HEALTH WORK SESSION--None

2/23/00 Landscape Plan
Undated initial landscaping outlay list
9/21/10 Judy Bersin letter requesting variances
10/19/10 F.L. Quinn Construction Septic installation Proposal
Undated Site Plan
A – Hearing – continued from October 5, 2010 – 39 Rainbow Way, (1) request to rescind variances granted for Boujoukis, 39 Rainbow, plan prepared by Ryder & Wilcox, dated May 11, 2010, plan dated February 3, 2010; (2) request to replace sewage disposal system, plan prepared by Ryder & Wilcox, dated August 27, 2010 (a) the inlet and outlet invert elevations of the pump chamber and septic tank shall be less than 12 inches above high groundwater, 1’
required,  less than 1’ available, 1’ variance; (b) SAS from property line 10’ required, 5’8” available, variance +/- 5’; (c) SAS from bordering vegetated wetland (BVW) 100’ required, 50’ available, 50’ variance; (d) septic tank from BVW,  50’ required, 30’ available, 20’ variance; (e) the pump chamber from BVW, 50’ required, 28’ available, 22’ variance; total 6 variances—Stephanie Sequin:  Arthur and Karen Boujoukis are here; we looked at utilizing the northwest corner for installation of the new system for 3-bedroom dwelling—it would be 75’ from the wetland; estimated cost would be $32,650 and would involve the same containment wall, chamber, etc.  The landscaping plan approved in 2000 by the Conservation Commission you have.  This would be put the system in the front yard of their northern neighbor, be visible to the many vehicles that pass daily and totally disrupt the landscaping and irrigation system the owners had installed.  Aesthet-ically, this is not their choice; plus it would cost all of the expenditures already put in and require a new expenditure for plantings.  There are no savings on installation if it is installed there.  Mrs. Dee’s original expenditures were $ 13,440 for the landscaping and an additional $ 4,200 for the irrigation system, which is more than half the cost of the new system and would constitute a loss for the homeowner.  As argument for their preferred plan they state the northwest location would still not be 100’ from the vegetated wetland; their preferred plan would be a huge improvement over the existing system; they are not proposing new construction, renovation nor expansion; the purpose of this installation is to allow the sale of the property to go through. Chairman Kocot noted that Dr. Insley has recused himself from this hearing and Ms Howell was not present at the original October 5 hearing.  Is this a failed system?  Ms Sequin:  it is not a failed system; but it would probably not pass a real estate inspection.  Comment:  many of the plants could be transplanted.  Health Director:  Board of Health regulations require a system be 50’ from the edge of a wetland; there is a plan which would place the system less than 75’ from the wetland—does the Board feel there are extreme and unusual circumstances here that would justify granting variances from the intent of the regulation?  Is the financial impact and loss of landscaping sufficient to exercise allowing the variance?  Motion Dr. Hurst moved to deny the proposed plan dated May 11, 2010; Ms Howell seconding; motion passed with a vote of 4 for, O against, 1 abstention.

8/17/10 Plans for Proposed Addition
10/12/10 Site Plan with Elevations, Soil Test Data and Variances
10/20/10 Eagle Surveying, Inc. letter to abutters with attached list -2pp
A – Hearing – variance request to replace sewage disposal system for Shalgian, 33 Bells Neck Road, plan prepared by Eagle Surveying, Inc. (1) 10’ is required between SAS and the property line, 5’ provided the street, variance if 5’; (2) 20’ is required between SAS and the foundation, 10’ provided, 10’ variance: Stephen Haas:  this is less than 700 square feet for a two-bedroom dwelling on the corner of Smith Street; they seek an addition by adding on to a small bedroom to make it livable and put interior stairs to access the basement.  Currently, doing the laundry in winter involves traveling out doors to enter the basement.  System is 3’ above high ground water so it doesn’t pass even the pre ’95 code.  The new system will be + 5’ to high ground water.  It involves moving the water line again to put it on the other side ; requires two variances which would also be required were they not planning the addition.  There is no other place for the system.  Health Director:  recommend approval as this is an improvement over existing.  There are no additional variances caused by the expansion; these are set back variances, not environmental.  The order of conditions are no increase or flow from the number of bedrooms shown on the October 12, 2010 plan.   Motion Dr. Hurst moved to approve the requested variances for 33 Bells Neck Road with the order of conditions there be no increase in flow nor number of bedrooms from the October 12, 2010 plan; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.

-Medical Training for Harwich Citizens Corps - Medical Unit:  Table of Contents re Seasonal Influenza Vaccine with thanks to Tina Everson, county and Rob Sanders, Harwich Fire Department
-VNA Compass Adult Day Health Food Service Delivery Plan for One Auston Road
-Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan of November 2005 Table of Contents & updated list of 42 Critical Facilities or Infrastructure =  emergency shelters/safety facilities/entity needing protection plans during hazards by departments
-Barry Worth Sept. 24, 2010 e-mail re Ground Mounted PV:  CVEC limited to municipal buildings/organizations only, not a church; need competitive bids for ground mounted PV and long term lease would require TM approval; this proposal part of an RFP for several town sites, would be part of existing IGA
-James Merriam Sept. 27, 2010 e-mail to J. Giorgio requesting review of letter of intent for former landfill site; is a TM vote required?
- John Giorgio Sept. 30, 2010 e-mail: stating BOS can enter intermunicipal agreement for 25 year term, specifically addressing ability to construct solar panels on town land, where maximum level of energy management agreement is 20 years; both the IMA and power purchase agreement are exempt from public bidding, best PPA with CVEC incorporation into the IMA, unless landfill held for a specific municipal purpose-- which necessitates a BOS vote that it is no longer needed for said purpose and a town meeting vote needed for establishing solar farm use of land; future procedure representations were made regarding such a plan entering binding agreement with CVEC.
-Oct. 4, 2010 letter from Harwich Board of Selectmen re FY 2012 Budget Message; seek: no override, regionalized projects providing better service, level funding of services, 1.5% total compensation increases, establishment of Harwich’s building maintenance department, review of software offerings to increase use of technology to maintain services while cutting costs—specifically by filing electronically where feasible and utilizing the web, to obtain grants in each department, to restore the stabilization fund to its FY2010 level
-James Merriam Oct. 5, 2010 e-mail response to J. Giorgio re Ground Mounted PV:  research landfill deed—did TM vote to authorize use as a landfill given is a BOH/DEP approved site assignment   
-Oct. 8, 2010 letter from Susan Gershman, Director Mass. Cancer Registry re Cancer Incidence in Massachusetts 2003-2007, City & Town Supplement:  Oct. 15, 2010 is release date of said report which will only be in electronic form and replaces the ’02 to ’06 City & Town Supplement requires no distribution of information until release date
-Oct. 10, 2010 e-mail from Barbara-Ann Foley re Hoarding: new Hoarding Task Force forming (Harwich is Mid Cape) to which Harwich Police, Fire, Health and COA are all invited—1st is 10/21/10—requesting 1 department rep to meeting OR she meet monthly with department for 30-minute review at Community Center; prevention is goal; need to consolidate meetings with Town Departments for time efficiency  
-Oct. 12, 2010 Gustavo DeSousa letter to Geoffrey S. Larsen, Building Commissioner, in appreciation of Health Director Paula Champagne’s dedication in assisting the issuance of a building permit for his home’s expansion allowing for timely completion  
-Catherine Brown & Patricia Kludt of MPH Oct. 13, 2010 e-mail re Updated Notification Process for Select Laboratory Reports:  As of 10/18/10, MA DPH will not notify local health departments of lab reports for legionellosis, babeiosis, anaplasmosis, brucellosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, or toxoplasmosis as most are false positive or non-acute diseases with no follow-up indicated.  They will report results for other than a single antibody titer and will review results daily to see if any cases of non-reporting diseases are true cases which would then be forwarded
-Jan Stevenson Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail: query compliance with M.G.L. C 85 Acts of 2000; seeking assistance in planning Greening meeting
-James Merriam Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail: contamination plume in W. Harwich area from 1987, suggested file Down gradient DPS with DEP to start and stops town’s liability for contamination from plume and seek quotes for required 3-4 monitor wells to assess level of contamination required before the filing  
-Jan Epstein Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail re Rosewood Manor rashes: negative results of scabies tests done on skin scrapings of affected residents; Healthcare Services, housekeeping company brought in Ecolab district manager to research rashes who found @ 8 pH level which is preferred in range of 5.5 to 6.5 pH; Purity Linen Services after contacting stated had equipment problem causing insufficient rinsing; problem now corrected and all Rosewood linen will be swapped out; ongoing testing will be instituted; families and physicians will be notified
-Paula Champagne Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail in response to Rosewood e-mail:  congratul-ations on thorough investigation; my original question “what have you changed on chemicals in use in the facility?” hit the mark; continue to call us as a resource
-Jan Epstein (Rosewood) Oct. 21, 2010 e-mail thanking Health Director for her help and support; excellent resource nice to know we have  
-Oct. 19, 2010 Paul  Niedzwiecki, Exec. Dir. CCC letter re MA Water Infrastructure Finance Commission Cape Cod Hearing:  a public hearing of said Finance Commission is November 10, 2010, 10 a.m. at CC Community College for discussion of 8 issues on which they invite written and brief oral testimony; municipal officials, water department and groups interested in water policy, environmental and consumer protection groups and the public are invited to attend this or remaining hearing November 15, 2010 in Springfield at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
-Food Allergies fact sheet for food establishments; four R’s: Refer, Review, Remember and Respond and Sources of Cross-Contact; Oct. 1, 2010 regulations require compliance by February 1, 2011, including on staff a certified food protection manager who has been trained, received certification and submitted to the Health Department and display of food allergy awareness poster and notice on menus to please inform server if party has person with food allergy – 2 pp
-Rabies Vaccine Distribution fact sheet with photos will be distributed Early
November—if found on lawn, use gloves or towel to pick up and toss to woods away from children and pets; contact number (413) 537-9394 if pet had contact; call DPH if person had contact (617) 983-6800; get pets vaccinated for rabies   
-Food Talk, Fall 2010 re:  food safety self-inspection – 2 pp check sheet, test yourself on hot and cold holding, including DANGER ZONE information
-flu clinic plans—Two clinics have been held:  October 13 was for employees as part of the wellness program; there were 140 and was very successful; the October 25 public had 320, much less than the usual 500 to 600 doses distributed.  The drill plans were utilized successfully.  Querying attendees for reasons why the lower numbers—there are many more options for seniors, some of which do not involve appointments and are open at any time for walk-ins which is more convenient.  Pharmacies have had their pharmacists trained to administer the vaccine; they no longer need the VNA to offer flu vaccine.    They are currently marketing their service by asking customers at check out:  “Have you had your flu shot yet?” The first half of the clinic which is typically seniors was light; the majority of attendees were under age 65, non-Medicare payees.  Future plans should include growing that population which means running the clinics to accommodate after work hours or Saturdays.  Should they go into the schools?  There is a surplus of vaccine which has been offered to the local medical community, with some being returned to the state to be reshipped to where needed.  There will be one Last Chance clinic run in conjunction with Chatham, which may utilize 100 more doses; there have been some calls to the office requesting dates.  Dr. Hurst suggested:  1) hold the clinic earlier, even in September if able, to give people time to build their immunity up; 2) have it by appointment; 3) hold it on Saturday.  Health Director:  our vaccine arrives late, in dribs and we are never sure when it will arrive; there was some anxiety that we wouldn’t have enough in for this clinic which was earlier than many we have held.  Next year may need to have a county complement—with an inadequate delivery system from the Department of Public Health—you get ½ in and then the next delivery isn’t in until 1 month later!  We did publish a volunteers’ handbook and completed some training for them to help meet the federal guidelines.  We are establishing our Medical Corps over time.  Chairman Kocot noted they are victims of circumstance—if CVS doesn’t get vaccine; the town needs to have enough; when physicians declined to accept Medicare for vaccine in prior years, the town had to have reserves to meet the need.  Health Director:  we must place our orders 6 months in advance; we will have to rethink our approach
-flood programs update—FEMA included in hazard mitigation planning
-Rosewood Manor—Nursing Director called when their residents started experiencing rashes and asked for assistance.  We didn’t see it accelerating as scabies would have; we didn’t see it linked to resident or staff contact.  They did scrapings of all afflicted and they tested negative; I queried if they had changed their soaps, products or any of chemicals utilized by cleaning staff.  They tried to isolate the problem; there was no vector cause.  After they tested a sheet were told pH = 8, when it should range from 5.5 to 6.5.  Upon querying their laundry service, that entity had had an equipment malfunction—the residual chlorine had caused the rashes.  They avoided delousing of facility and patients.  We had researched scabies and sent them information on how to handle if that were the problem.  Solution was new sheets in from supplier replacing all existing.  Moral:  do research before taking the next step; you need to be sure what steps you should take.
-Thank you in from Gus DeSousa for assistance with a 4-month project to add an addition.  His original system had been installed too close to ground high water; after researching the GSGS ground water codes; it was determined an error had been made in his area; that correction meant his system was in compliance and project went forward.  He saved $ 10,000 on his system.
-Food Talk—The Fall issue is in; we forward it to all of our food establishments; they tell us it is of great benefit.  This issue has the 2-page self-inspection test on food safety.
–project--Photovoltaic farm at the landfill has been proposed for the town of Harwich; the Town Administrator checked with the Planning Department at the pre-bid conference and this was first the Building, Health or Zoning Departments had heard of the plan.  Another proposal is to allow family gardening at the landfill.  The issue is the landfill cannot be used to grow anything but wild flowers; invading species need to be cleaned out; any other use is prohibited as this is an active cap area. Health Director suggested the Town Administrator have Town Counsel research the limitations on the landfill which has been under Board of Health since its creation.  Dr. Hurst:  when the state decided all landfills except one in Bourne must be closed, Harwich got a one-year reprieve and, as a result, took in contaminated debris from other Cape towns, including PCB’s.  Runoff flowed into Flax Pond, causing problems there and the town closed the landfill by putting in a 3” to 4” loam floor which was the cheapest option; it is covered with a plastic barrier and if that barrier is broken, the contaminants will come into the environment.  At this stage there have not been any further discharges.  You cannot have any weight up there.  Ask any engineer who will tell you what problems that would cause.  Query:  does the Board of Selectmen know about this?  They should.  

You cannot install any footings in the landfill; there is methane gas generated on the 130 acres of which 1/3  is an active landfill, about 35 acres.  The demolition debris containing PCB’s and a lot of PVC material has 2’ of clay as a base then an impermeable barrier to cover and 4” loam fill atop the cover.  There have been leaching studies; there is a ring of monitoring wells around the landfill which are tested twice a year.  Our Town Counsel needs to research what site assignments there are before considering giving it to any abutters.  To change a site assignment requires submitting an appeal to the DEP; the site would require reassigning.  Health Director:  I have a 4” stack of reports to tell the town what to be concerned about for the landfill:  1)  No septic systems allowed in the area, 2) contaminants are under the cover, 3) distance to high groundwater is an imminent health concern., 4) there are unusual hydro-geological occurrences there; there is a lot of product floating in that area; some believe the construct and clean-up should be the responsibility of the Mobil Oil Company.  They did reopen it when 1’ of product was found floating in a near-by construction site of a utility company when they tried to sink a piling.  There is the creek, flowing from the Bay under the road; there is an old marsh; it is a man-made harbor; there is a tidal creek influence so that water comes back in and it never completely flushes out.
-Jan Stevenson letter in:  Green Coalition asking what the Board of Health’s input will be at the seminar, helping sponsor it or introducing a plan?  She refers to the Chapter 85 Acts of 2000 with which we have been in compliance and had not been aware there was a problem; schools are the focus points.
-Wastewater Committee—N/A
-affordable housing—they are seeking to use town property for other uses—such as school property:  there is a major contract with Pinewood Village which abuts Harwich school property; we believe there are contaminants under ground as formerly there was a Laundromat, auto body shop and dry cleaning shop at the West Dennis town line.  We suggested they request an environmental proposal; the second floor staff needs to communicate more on such issues; the Board of Selectmen has been so informed as projects that originate within the town offices do not go through the permit process as Harwich residents or developers would and it leads to late-discovered issues.  Designs need to flow through the pipeline to insure all safeguards remain in place
-hoarding—Barbara-Ann Foley sent notice of a Hoarding Task Force; realize that this is a delicate issue.  One must keep one’s home clean, free from vermin and follow safety notices.  These are responsibilities of landlords and occupants.  There is a housing code which has set policies which the Health Director and Health Department must follow once there is a known problem or it is deemed unfit for human habitat.  One gives notices, post if necessary, clarify violations, and, depending on danger of situation, one gives 14 hours, 24 hours or 17 days within which to comply.  The Health Department can’t just barge in; we need permission or we are trespassing; it must be a voluntary acceptance if we are to enter.  Information may flow to the Police, Fire or Health Department.  Once we are on notice, we are obligated to follow through; the wheels are set in motion.   Often, there is a Social Worker involvement.   After a home is posted we have an obligation to make it all disappear.   It is an increasing problem due to retirement, isolation—is it the Health Department’s problem; we can provide assistance.  You, as the Board of Health, need to be forewarned of regulations that operate once we know there is a problem—we cannot walk away.  Query: can VNA serve the function?  We will send out a nurse to do a wellness check if we have been denied admittance. The nurse can determine if they need other services, determine needed resources if there is a problem. We are the last line of defense.
-hazard mitigation –Three meetings with the Town Planner, Fire, Police and EMTs on pre-disaster mitigation for the town.  FEMA, blizzard, radioactivity, floods, storms could activate such plans:  need ID’s, completed inventory of 42 critical town facilities available during a disaster and/or need monitoring by service Departments—such as library, elementary school, hospital (both animal and human), fuel docks--critical com-munication paths required among departments—these plans need review every 5 years.  
-One Austen Road—the VNA  runs the Adult Day Care here and have provided assurances they are not preparing food onsite and will use paper plates and plastic utensils to minimize impact on the site’s septic system.
-FY12 budget—the Board of Health has been informed: 1) the town will not seek a Proposition 2 ½ override in fiscal 2012, 2) one goal is to reduce benefits for employees,  3) goal is to lower cost to town of  required mandates, 4) employee compensation,   pension/benefits plans are vested; seek lowering costs, 5) building maintenance issues need to be addressed, 6) the Town Administrator is exploring funding sources as no new sources have surfaced—all of which it will be a level funded budget—FY11 = FY12.  They seek to save the quality of services but to conserve spending.  Carol Genatosso will work with the Health Director on the plan.  Chairman Kocot stated that we need to make it clear if we can’t deliver what is expected of us if we don’t have a means of doing it. Health Director cited one specific:  Pat Ballo is limited in number of hours she may work in a calendar year.  She is close to that limit so her time is rationed to 6 days for the remainder of 2010, after handling H1N1 and other issues that surfaced.  With the need for permitting with the coming of 2011 permits, Paula notified the Town Administrator of the situation and the limitations under which the Department must work.  His response was:  can we get someone else with that skill set? But, since any excess funding was stripped away from the Department when staff members left, there is no funding left to pay for such a staffer.  Amy and John will cover where they can, but you must expect delays.  Job sharing is utilized—1 day is Health Department and 4 days are Conservation Commission.  There are no overtime dollars available.  The new food allergy law is one with which we must comply, but there has been no funding to help us to implement the new requirements.  It is one more item to be added to the list of things we must check at inspections and it adds another document we must receive from each food establishment preparing food for consumers.  There are CPR cards, manager’s certification, food certificate from the manager, to which we add checking the training requirement and Certificate of the trained manager on food allergies.


-MA Dept. of Public Health re Massachusetts Cancer Registry
-Updated notification process for select laboratory reports
-rabies vaccine distribution
-Cape Cod Commission re MA water infrastructure finance commission Cape Cod hearing


-Nov. 1, 2010 Permit List
Health Director:  recommend approval of November 1, 2010 permit list which has one new installer and 7-Eleven has taken over and renovated the former White Hen Pantry.  Motion Dr. Insley moved to approve the permit list of November 1, 2010 as presented; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.



Dr. Insley moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:23 p.m.

                                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                        Sandra C. Howard

Next meeting is Tuesday,  December 7   at     6:00 p.m.    in the small hearing room.

Virtual Towns & Schools Website