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Board of HealthJanuary 20, 2016
Meetings & Notices
BOARD OF HEALTH
Conference Room #202
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
TIME: 4:30 p.m.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:
REPORT OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER:
REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF HEALTH/SANITARIAN:
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Tobacco 21, Approval of Youth Access, Needle Exchange
January 20, 2016
Members Present: Brendan Bullett (Chairperson)
Kevin Lamb (Member)
Absent: John Meaney (Member)
Others Present: James O’ Brien, Director of Health / Code Enforcement
Melissa Martin (BOH Secretary)
Jim Wilusz (Tri-Town Health)
Josh Moran (City Councilor), Akiko Fry
Brendan Bullet made a motion to accept and waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, seconded by Kevin Lamb. Unanimous vote.
Jim Wilusz: Discussion regarding (DRAFT) Regulation of the City of North Adams Board of Health Restricting the Sales of Tobacco Products. He provided the board with regulations that they need to review, keep or change as needed. Adams, Pittsfield and Great Barrington are considering these regulations. Massachusetts has 87 towns that have passed these or familiar regulations. We may get a little of push back from the retailers because its change. A lot of municipalities are doing this. These are aggressive regulations. Tobacco definitions are always changing which strengths the regulations. The AG Regulations don’t preempt the Board of Health Regulations, it is in addition to. The biggest change in the regulations is the definition of a tobacco product. All tobacco and nicotine products are rolled into one in the definition not separate as in the previous regulations. We are so used to products being cigarettes, snuff, and chew. This definition encompasses vaping, non-nicotine solution. It incorporates all that. Not a lot of municipalities have done capping, maybe less than 30. This regulation doesn’t affect the current license holders, only new and potential businesses. We should work with the Building Department, Planning Board and Community Development to see if any future businesses are coming to the city. There are several ways of capping. Do we want to go with the number that we currently license (20) or use a buffer for the potential of new businesses? Flavored cigarettes have already been banned by the FDA. The regulations are for blunt wraps, flavored cigars, plus 200+ products. This may be more controversial. Jim will get the inventory of products and forward to the director. Discussion of retailer training and fines per regulations.
Jim stated the Board decides the time frame for the hearing and effective date. The board should review the regulation, discussion at the next meeting and set for the following meeting a hearing. We should take in consideration the retailers inventory when discussing the effective date.
Director O’Brien inquired about incorporating Tobacco 21 also in the regulations. Jim Wilusz stated yes, make it easier. Do the one public hearing and encapsulate everything. We may get retailers for cigar packaging and flavor ban, which will be the most controversial. We should put a time limit on the amount of time the public speaks. Chairperson Bullets mentioned that from a timing stand point, sooner than later. Maybe between now and the next meeting, we read and discuss the regulations at the next meeting, come up with a draft then have a hearing. What exactly do we want and update our regulations with the effective date.
Member Lamb inquired if there is any evidence that further than 500ft from a school zone is better. Jim Wilusz, no evidence. To many variables, with the wind direction, etc. McCann Technical School may be pretty close to Cumberland Farms. Cole Grove Park School may be close to Head Eaze. These would be grandfathered in. Only new businesses will be affected and need to comply with the regulations, but if it’s 21 and over, they should not allow the kids in the establishments.
Chairperson Bullet inquired about the Needle Exchange. Director O’Brien mentioned we have not heard anything. They may be waiting on the board to move further. He also stated the Hotline would be good to have in the community. Supervised Injection sites, the director is not on board with but it’s the board’s decision. Chairperson Bullet stated lets work on the tobacco regulation and then continue on with the Needle Exchange. Member Lamb asked how many current licensed do we have now and does it move up and down per year. We currently have 20 licenses, with no significant numbers up or down. Do we need to have a buffer or not even cap. With the amount of licenses we have? Chairperson Bullet inquired about the BP Station. They only sell tobacco products and lottery. No gas at this time. At one time they talked about renovations but nothing as of yet mentioned the director.
Continuing on with Code Enforcement and Director’s Report: Director O’ Brien conducted 20 inspections generating $600. We are continuing moving ahead with the On-Line Permitting. All the forms will look the same. We will not be on board until the fall of 2017. The director will get a tablet and be able to generate on site. We already have an account with UniBank for payments transactions. They are looking into having a risk category for food establishments. The classification will dictate how many times a year the establishment needs to be inspected. For example, nursing homes maybe 2-3 times a year and pizza places maybe once a year or every other year, this will be recommendations from the FDA. Once we are up and running the Director will be FDA certified. They are trying to simplify the training, also simplify the inspection process.
The next Meeting will be February 17, 2016.
Meeting adjourned at 5:20pm.