HARWICH BOARD OF HEALTH
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
SMALL HEARING ROOM – TOWN HALL
BOARD OF HEALTH MEMBERS PRESENT: CHAIRMAN DR. STANLEY KOCOT, MIMI WATSON, DR. ROBERT INSLEY, PAMELA HOWELL, HEALTH DIRECTOR PAULA J. CHAMPAGNE.
OTHERS: SELECTMAN LARRY BALLANTINE, BARRY WORTH, NOREEN DONAHUE, RICK TOMA, SHEILA BOWEN, JIM COYLE, VALERIE BELL, MAGGIE DOWNING, TERRY HAYDEN, KIERAN O’HEALY, PAUL SONES, ATTORNEY WILLIAM CROWELL, DALE NICHOLS, DAN CROTEAU.
I CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Dr. Stanley Kocot called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Hurst has an excused absence.
II MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING—None available
III 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. BOARD OF HEALTH WORK SESSION
-Discussion Town of Harwich Wind Energy Turbine Proposals—(1) referral from the Board of Selectmen--(2) over view of project with Barry Worth, Utility and Energy Commission—(3) citizen’s letter to Board of Health.
Barry Worth: provided informative talk on wind turbines and resources to the Board to learn of the health and safety issues. Query: where to find flicker effect information—he will provide more resources. This project will take more than two years; this is the concept stage; engineering has not been done, bid requests need to go out. Invited the Board of Health to a public meeting which will be held in March. Chairman Kocot stated they needed time to review material; they are not knowledgeable on this issue. Health Director thanked Mr. Worth for the information presented and the packet which includes pros and cons of the issue provided Board members and internet resources. Noreen Donahue, speaking for neighbors of the proposed location: the close proximity is an issue and is not found in many other
projects. There isn’t a lot of data for such close proximity residences. 1) Consider the source of your material; you can find anything on the internet. 2) there is no scientific data on turbines near residences; there have been industrial turbines. 3) noise from turbines: in excess of 45 decibels produced; would you want your loved ones exposed to that 24/7? Rick Toma: we urge this Board to look at the documentation from other countries and learn from their mistakes. There are some 500 homes within 3,000 feet of the proposed turbines; it is a densely populated rural area. I bought in a quiet, rural area; I want to keep my windows open at night. The blade has been compared with a 747 traveling at 200 mph at the tip. If there is no shut off; sleep deprivation is a concern. We appreciate your due diligence. Sheila Bowen, West Tupelo resident: gather information. We would like to bring another opponent to
speak with you. Jim Coyle, Alden Lane: is there a difference between feasibility study and an environmental study? Valerie Bell: Feasibility study asks is it possible? Maggie Downing, co op SEBO: Barnstable County would have to pull permits, then the state could require an environmental study (EIR); the state decides if one is needed. The town of Harwich and the Co op would then have to comply. If one were required, MEPA and CCC enter the picture. Terry Hayden: the CCC is not involved otherwise; this is not their jurisdiction; only if an EIR is required.
IV 6:30 p.m. OLD/UNFINISHED BUSINESS-none
V NEW BUSINESS
A – Hearing – Variance request for existing sewage system due to alteration for 3 Prince Charles Drive, Paul Sones plan prepared by BSC Group (1) to a reduction in setback requirement for a septic from a crawl space wall 10’ required, 7.5’ available, 2.5’ variance; (2) to allow a reduction in the setback requirement for a soil absorption system from a crawl space wall 20’ required, 15’ available, 5’ variance —Kieran O’Healy, BSC group: Mr. Sones is here—he can’t get into his front door with his electric wheelchair. Mounded system; we plan to push out existing ramp to line up with the new building. There are no additional bedrooms; we are adding more space to give him access. Health Director: this is a preexisting septic system with some alterations since its ’94 installation. We requested an inspection as
this is in line with a real estate transfer; it passed and is in good working order. Difficult site as there are wetland issues which required variances at time of installation. This is in keeping with the order of conditions as there is no increase in habitable space. The alteration necessitates variances. Recommend this to the Board as in keeping with the original orders; these are special circumstances. Motion Dr. Insley moved to approve the requested variances for 3 Prince Charles Drive; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.
B—Hearing – Request for reconsideration of orders of condition dated 9/30/1993 variance re no increase in square footage, Rothwell, 25 Wequassett Road, Harwich, proposed addition. Represented by William D. Crowell, Esquire. —William D. Crowell, Esquire: Builder Dale Nichols is present. We met with the Health Director; the letter of January 21, 2010 represents our request. Seventeen years ago variances granted: 1) tank allowed 89’ from a wetland where 100’ required; 2) reserve area 50’ not 200’; 3) distance from building to septic 63’ not 100’. This was under a prior law—reserve area not required. Since we can’t do anything in the reserve area, the 63’ no longer requires a variance—Health Director: the code has changed to a setback requirement of 50’. Floor plan submitted; the issue is the
kitchen and first floor bedroom, proposal is to double the size of the kitchen, eliminates that bedroom and then build a master bedroom suite over the garage. This means no increase in flow or density. There is a system for a 4-bedroom house. We are increasing the height and habitable space of the dwelling; but there is no impact on the aquifer, Allen’s Harbor. We are before the Board of Appeals on February 24, 2010. Health Director: the plan is in keeping with the Board’s directives. No impact on flow, density or the septic system and is in keeping with the variances approved in 1993. With the January 21, 2010 letter and plan dated December 24, 2009, recommend approval. Motion Ms Watson moved to approve the request for 25 Wequassett Road; Dr. Insley seconding; motion passed unanimously.
-Hearing for emergency situation at 429,31 & 33 Rt. 28, Peterson/4000 Club Realty Trust, plan prepared by Moran Engineering (1) Reduction in liquid depth of septic tank, 4’ required, 3.5’ available, 0.5’ variance; (2) Distance between inlet and outlet tank inverts, 1’ required, 0.9’, 0.8’ and 0.6’ available, 0.1’, 0.2’ and 0.4’ variances respectfully; (3) Distance between wetland and septic tank, 100’ required, 60’ available, 40’ variance--Dan Croteau: this is a collapsed pump chamber which has been in for two years; they removed a deck and found a system that had not been on any of the plans drawn for that installation. Leaching field had failed lately—they found fish in the tank and have talked to a retailer on the property. A container had been provided for their refuse. Propose to fill the collapsed pump chamber, install
proposed new 3,000 gallon tank for 200% availability which then flows to existing 2200 gallon tank for 100% availability, then to pump chamber. Tank will be in two parts due to size; it will be watertight sealed, wrapped, with hydraulic concrete over that and bituminous coating .Tank will be located 60’ to top of bank of wetland. Other variance is for required depth in tank—seek 3.5’ rather than required 4’ to keep it out of the water. There will be smart filler alarms on both tanks for warning to check. Third variance is to allow inverts for inlet and outlet tank pipes to have variances from required 1’ to be 0.1’, 0.2’ and 0.4’ as can’t change them. Health Director: these are not posted variances; this is a hearing to keep the site safe as there is open sewage; waiting for next meeting would be detrimental to health. System was installed in 1986; there are no records available; there was no Health Director in that period; people “made it
work”. This tank was not in any records. One limitation is they cannot pump over 75% flow out of a building. This system would have been addressed with the other system update over two years ago. The original system was not put in deep enough; there was little town oversight then; the pipes are too low to get to the tank. Query: are there other alternatives? Mr. Croteau: no; no solids will flow to the rest of the system; there are two Zabel filters and we are installing a larger tank. Query: the installer of record? There are no records available; it was the wild west in the ‘80’s. Motion Ms Watson moved to approve the emergency variances for 429, 431 and 433 Rt. 28; Ms Howell seconding; motion passed .
VI REPORT OF THE HEALTH DIRECTOR
-Annual reports—Dr. Stanley’s report submitted to the office and the Health Director’s report. One fact jumped out: based on income returned to the town was $ 1,515.50 for copying. At $ .25 per page that’s over 6,000 copies which is a lot of work. That represents a major commitment of staff time to serve our public—research in the files, phone conversations, explain the documents—it isn’t just the physical act of copying. The format has changed: services are grouped together, not just departments. A lot was done on emergency management; we researched the rental inspection program, a lot of time spent on meetings for water quality, swimming pools. Education and wellness have been priorities in the past year.
-tobacco control program—this was the worst result for Harwich. Health Director has made periodic visits to all 11 facilities; tickets were issued. A written report is required. Tape was available to show to owners. Two facilities have a zero tolerance policy which resulted in loss of job of staffer, CVS and Cumberland Farms. Meetings occurred after the holidays. Fines are being paid.
-HINI clinics; status—Held two public clinics with 900 participants. We used the rest of the regular flu vaccine. Query: why are venues charging if the federal government pays for the vaccine? They can’t charge for the vaccine; they are charging to service—paperwork and nursing services. We’ve done 12 clinics in a short time. We may obtain other adult immunization vaccines. There have been 11,000 deaths throughout the country for a vaccine preventable disease. Personal hygiene education has been very important. Out of 2728 school population we vaccinated 1283, a 47% rate. Plus, some families secured vaccine privately for over 200 students, which is a 54% rate of target population. In the general population the rate was 20%; this is low, but it is a different culture. Dr.
Insley: the state has stopped providing Hepatitis B vaccine supply; that is a larger problem than AIDs; it is a shame. Health Director: vaccine is costly—it requires 10 to 12 shots and the cost is $200 for 3 shots. Noted: once vaccinated it is good for life.
-staff recruitment—an ad was placed in the paper; period closes one week from today. I will review the applicants with the front office. Hope to have a better staff once the opening has been filled.
-complaints—high incidence of heating complaints. The Royal had a problem Saturday morning; sprinkler froze, causing water through 4 floors to the basement. Ice in the water; the line froze; 10-15 gallons/min. were flowing. Electrical inspector was called and the fire inspector as water in fixtures. Investigating efficiency of antifreeze where uninsulated; why is there no alarm? No residents had to be evacuated. Reviewed emergency plans with kitchen staff for lunch, dinner and next day.
-issue with Hasset Plan 75A D Road; new tenant, non-compliance.
-64 Smith St. house in foreclosure; complaints are being filed; trying to evict people.
-employee wellness programs—February 2 was a benefits Group meeting. Employee Assistance program materials available for employees.
-weights and measures—Director has to send report to the state; we contract the service out and they do it all.
-water quality task force—Meeting held; they are continuing assessment of possible sites.
-Bio-Cascade, Inc. re clean air and water systems
-DEP re Hoot Aerobic Systems technology approval
-Bennett re Russell Hall property
-Coastal Engineering re Pine Oaks Village III
Health Director: Permit list of February 2, 2002 had one installer, Jones, reach a 96 on the installer exam—the highest score ever. It is a 40-question written exam. Inspector’s exam is 90 questions; administer it once a month; fee is $ 50. Two were not successful; it becomes a tutorial session as the Cape requires water quality adjustments; more detailed knowledge, different soils knowledge needed. Many off-Cape inspectors are seeking the work with all of the foreclosures. Four hours spent February 1 with 3 individuals after the test. Motion Dr. Insley moved to approve the permit list of February 2, 2010; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.
Chairman Kocot thanked Ms Watson and Ms Howell for their attendance at the Board of Selectmen meeting at the presentation of the Board of Health’s Annual Report. It was very much appreciated.
-Discussion on responses to queries on the wind turbine questions that will come into the office. The Board is researching the issue and not able to formulate a position at this time. They are information gathering and all information is welcome. Query the effects of the wind turbines on wild life.
Dr. Insley moved to adjourn at 7:45 p.m.
Sandra C. Howard
Next meeting is Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the small hearing room.