HARWICH BOARD OF HEALTH
TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
SMALL HEARING ROOM – TOWN HALL
BOARD OF HEALTH MEMBERS PRESENT: CHAIRMAN DR. STANLEY KOCOT, MIMI WATSON, DR. AL HURST, PAMELA HOWELL, HEALTH DIRECTOR PAULA J. CHAMPAGNE.
OTHERS: SHEILA BOWEN, TERRY HAYDEN, JUDY BURSIN, SELECTMEN LIAISON LARRY BALLANTINE, ED CRONIN.
I CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Dr. Stanley Kocot called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Robert Insley has an excused absence.
II MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING-January 5
Motion Ms Watson moved to approve the minutes of January 5, 2010 as presented; Dr. Hurst seconding; motion passed.
III 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. BOARD OF HEALTH WORK SESSION
A—Discussion – NSTAR 2010 yearly operational plan for rights of way management
The Board of Selectmen will review the NSTAR rights of way management plan at the March 15 meeting; the Board of Health is asked for their input/suggestions on the plan. Health Director Paula Champagne: having e-mailed the meat of the report of NSTAR’s intent on the lower Cape to this Board, note your role is an informative one after the court’s ruling in 1985 in Town of Wendell. M.G. L. c 111 § 31 gave the authority to the Board of Health to conduct a review and regulate in environmental situations, but this was overruled by the ’85 decision as that would have allowed inconsistency with Federal laws already promulgated. Currently, this Board does not have authority to regulate pesticide and habitat control nor to vote this plan down; the bylaws have been overruled. Previously there had been no spraying in
rights of way, only mechanical methods were utilized. NSTAR has developed plans in sensitive areas using a combination of mechanical means and selective spraying, in person --no mechanical spraying. This Board can state their opinion that there be no indiscriminate spraying, that NSTAR should explore all other alternatives, can provide education and guidance for individuals in their own yards: minimize spraying and pesticide and herbicide use everyday. The Board of Selectmen and Conservation Groups want guidance from you; you can make a platform so as to protect this community and its water supply from indiscriminate use. Dr. Hurst noted that they will not do this for one year. Looking up the chemical character of the sprays they plan to use, they use ingredients found in Agent Orange, which is carcinogenic. Some of the sprays they plan to use have been banned in Mexico (Round-up) and Canada. It is not right that it be allowed here.
One of three superfund clean-up sites in Massachusetts, the Monsanto company site in Abington, caused leakage to a creek of Round-up and families suffered leukemia and lymphoma in that area. Health Director: they will be notifying all abutters; they will not spray within 100’ of any well, but they would need to be notified of any private wells near the right-of-ways; they would spray only every two years; their plan is to use 1 pint maximum over 1 acre. Mechanization would require many trips which would beat down the vegetation. Sheila Bowen, West Harwich: why hasn’t the state put in a law about this? Health Director: they must file a plan annually with the state about products used in sensitive areas. Towns must be notified; this is to ensure that utility companies have properly identified sensitive areas’ boundaries. The State Pesticide Board oversees notification and filing of the plan. Motion Dr. Hurst moved that the
Board of Health cannot prevent this, but can review studies on the proposed herbicides NSTAR wants to use; Ms Howell seconding; motion passed. Note the meeting is scheduled for March 15th.
B—additional submittals re wind energy—Tour for Selectmen, utility companies and dignitaries is scheduled for Friday, March 5. They will tour a wind farm in Rhode Island—the Health Director, Dr, Kocot and Ms Watson plan to participate. Studies from Minnesota on the flicker effect and a fact sheet on acoustical ecology of Dr. Cole’s will be disseminated to the Board for review. Health Director: we will compile a list of documents received and circulated to the Board. Dr. Hurst: the author of the 2003 study given us recanted her article in 2009; many of the studies aren’t well-documented and raise questions. There is a world-wide symposium on June 10 in Europe. The French government has now stopped operation of wind turbines between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and, here-after, all must be located 2 miles from
human dwellings. Terry Hayden, W. Tupelo Drive,: it is too dense in Harwich for wind turbines; it is not healthy; there are some 400 properties within 3,000’ of 1 of the 2 proposed turbines. Of the 38 homes within 3,000’ of the Vinal Haven, Maine turbines, 24 people complained of the noise and flicker effect. Turning the speed down makes them less efficient with less of a reduction of cost on the utility bills. Ms Bowen: will the Board of Health hold a public hearing? We would like to bring independent authorities before the Board if you do. Chairman Kocot: we will consider it; we are deemed consultants for the Board of Selectmen.
IV 6:30 p.m. OLD/UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A—continued – Cove Road subdivision, request to withdraw—Health Director: Susan Ladue has sent a request to withdraw without prejudice as the issues are insurmountable at this time. Motion Ms Watson moved to approve the request for withdrawal of the Cove Road subdivision; Ms Howell seconding; motion passed unanimously.
B—Discussion—rental inspection by-law—Health Director: called to meet with the Town Administrator and the Building Commissioner to craft a by-law for rental property’s inspection program, I informed them it was not an appropriate role for me as the policy making Board had twice voted against the concept. Told it was a goal of the Selectmen, the Town Administrator, who is also opposed, stated we had to go forward and ideas were discussed. The concept is not well thought out; they are cutting budgets and this is a staff-intensive program; it would need at least two people to implement it. We need to inform the Selectmen that if the by-law passes, there must be staffing to promote it and, if the town is issuing permits, there is a lot of liability for the town. If must be properly staffed and financed; there would
not be opposition if that were the case. Registration, not an inspection program, may be the approach one must use; take if out of the enforcement department as that would be difficult to establish and implement. If the goal is safe and sanitary housing, then that is what we need to state. It needs several people to implement such a program. We do not want to be seen as obstructionists; but it is not appropriate to go to Town Meeting with this request. Historically, Richard Hayden, then Chairman of the Board of Health, wanted the idea explored. They prepared a draft proposal; Dr. Hurst was a Board member at the time. Town Counsel opposed the concept; town adminis-tration called it kingdom building. Selectmen Liaison Larry Ballantine: the Board of Selectmen is not in agreement as to what their goal is for this program—there are still differences of opinion. What is the problem; I need to understand it. Dr. Hurst: the
primary mission is to keep the town squeaky clean; we sit above our water supply. The Health Department is responsible for inspection of restaurants, food service industries, etc. We don’t have the dollars to start this program and you can’t do it without funding. Inspectors are highly priced people. This will not be a self-supporting program. Ms Watson: they must generate revenue from someplace. Health Director: they would need to set the fee to make it self-supporting. Chairman Kocot: it is not possible for seasonal help to handle this type of program.
V NEW BUSINESS
A—Variance request to replace sewage system for Boujoukos, 39 Rainbow Way, plan prepared by Ryder & Wilcox (1) The inlet and outlet invert elevations of the pump chamber and septic tank shall be less than 12 inches (one foot) above the high groundwater, one foot variances are requested—Judy Bursin, Ryder & Wilcox: these are buyers who seek an upgrade; it is a 3 bedroom dwelling with vegetated wetland and a lake to the south. Two northern areas are not in the wetland. There will be a concrete wall in the northeast. They have 4.7’ adjustment to high ground water; it should be 5’. They must pump to a raised system and seek a 1’ variance. Use of heavy tanks will prevent buoyancy. This is not a local regulation; they must go before the DEP (310 CMR 227.) The Conservation Commission continued
their hearing to March 16. Mr. Cronin, abutter: it is a large adjustment, but it is warranted. They are out of buffer systems. There are little kettle ponds in the area; it is very sensitive. Health Director: we have seen water on this lot at times; that is why the water adjustment must be high. Someday there may be a house on the adjoining lot. This is an improvement as it is setback from the wetland and is good water separation. Raising the invert of the outlet and inlet is important so there be no infiltration. She meets the buoyancy calculation; it would be for a 3-bedroom dwelling subject to DEP approval and with no increase in flow. Motion .Ms Watson moved to approve the variance request; Ms Howell seconding; no action taken. Mr. Cronin: I question where the property line is. Is it possible to delay a decision until after March 16? Their plans have changed in the last 10 days.
There are animals that live there--turtles, birds are down there all the time; it is natural vegetation down there. Did you get a letter from the Conservation Commission asking for an environmental report on where they want to put it? Could they use the top corner? I believe they are building on a wetland. Engineer Bursin: to address your concerns: if we put the leaching area in the top left of the chart we would be 99’ from the wetland and would need a property line variance. The water line would also have to be moved; it would be an eyesore to other neighbors. Chairman Kocot: we could grant an extension beyond the March 16 Conservation Commission meeting. Health Director: it is Board of Health policy to let projects complete their Conservation Commission hearing before they come to this Board. Wetland boundaries would be established; this Board doesn’t approve projects that must change. Support the Board
adhering to their pattern—complete the Conservation Commission review before this Board makes its decision. There are no clear guidelines from the Commission; recommend postponment to the next meeting, which is April 6. Motion Dr.Hurst moved to postpone the 39 Rainbow Way hearing to April 6, 2010; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.
VI REPORT OF THE HEALTH DIRECTOR
-updates –Tobacco fines have all been paid; 2,201 H1N1 vaccines were administered in town, information forwarded to DPH.
-applicant search—Nine applicants for the opening; the Assistant Town Administrator did preliminary interviews. We will interview 6; three candidates are very good options—the top candidate has a lot of experience and is a health officer on the lower Cape. Self-employed candidates did not understand that they could not have contracts with others towns as that could create issues; they must close their business. The Assistant Town Administrator was excellent at clarifying the issue; the conflict of interest rules would not allow them to be in a related business. It will be a 28-hour work week with a starting range between $ 21 and $ 26 per hour; it is an entry level position. They are benefits eligible, but designers just couldn’t make the dollars work. Amazed at the number of qualified candidates; we expected a
lot of applicants, but lacking the needed expertise as it is a specialized field. Hope to have the new hire by April.
-new businesses—Land Ho has had a second inspection; Ember has opened; as has Harwichport Pizza, Shenanigan’s wants to serve breakfast and lunch. Stone Horse Motor on Rt. 28 now owned by a Boston development company were going to keep the motel until long range plans completed, but no longer. They will convert it directly to condominiums. Multiple buildings, 44 bedroom units which would be reduced to 20-25 bedrooms. They plan to remodel some buildings to make two bedroom units. They will need to comply with the > 2,000 gallons/day regulation for the septic system. By reducing density and flow; they will be making improvements. They must appear before the Planning Board; unsure if a year-round operation is allowed in that area and whether the Appeals Board needs to be involved.
-food service—Dave’s Ribs has been updating his HACCP program
-VNA FY 11 rates—Contract for 2011 has been proposed; the rate of pay is a question. They provided invaluable service during the clinics—they were team leaders and helped us control the costs of the H1N1 clinics. They are very receptive to the town’s needs.
-Town of Harwich Building Department re 59 Parallel Street, removal of unsafe structure
-Town of Harwich Building Department re notice of zoning by-law notice to abate to Gemborys re commercial stable
-Board of Selectmen to Dave’s Ribs re common victualler license for 2010 renewal
-Health & Homeland Alert Network re notice of public hearing re food allergy awareness, 3/2/2010
-Brian Bjorklund to Lee McConnell re USDA wildlife services re rabies
Health Director: exam given on March 1; two passed the installer’s exam. Recommend approval of the March 1, 2010 permit list. Motion Dr. Hurst moved to approve the March 1, 2010 permit list; Ms Watson seconding; motion passed unanimously.
Meeting dates through September are as follows (Note 7 p.m. start time June through September):
6 p.m. Start ! 7 p.m Start
April 6 ! June 1 Aug. 3
May 11 ! July 6 Sept. 7
All meetings are in small hearing room.
Ms Watson moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:27 p.m.
Sandra C. Howard
Next meeting is Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the small hearing room.