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Board of HealthMarch 23, 2016
Meetings & Notices
City of North Adams
Board of Health
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Conference Room #202 @ 4:30pm
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: January 20, 2016
• Discussion of Local Tobacco Regulations
• Tapestry Health Needle Exchange Program
• Director & Code Enforcement Reports
Brendan Bullett, Chairperson
March 23, 2016
Members Present: Brendan Bullett (Chairperson)
Kevin Lamb (Member)
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)
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 (Tri-Town Health) Discussion of the tobacco regulations. Most of the chain stores know it’s coming. The word about Tobacco 21 is spreading in a positive way. Limited sales in towns that have increased the age. Discussed capping the amount of licenses. Make sure all departments are on the same page. Some vape retailers are moving into the Berkshires. Capping has to make sense in our community growth. We want to protect our youth and the next generation of tobacco. We need to protect our youth and young adults. A lot of retailers are within a school zone. We currently have 21 licenses. Chairperson Bullet asked if capping was really an issue, stores are not knocking down the doors to come to the city. Director O’Brien mentioned capping at 21. Jim Wilusz mentions we could go a couple above, just for the flexibility and incorporate the set back within a school zone. We would better control of where that permit location. We would still be business friendly but protection our youth. You can always change the regulations. The board has the flexibility. Chairperson Bullett suggested capping at 23. With the board in agreeing sand include the 500ft buffer zone within a school zone. They can always purchase someone’s license like the liquor licenses. Chairperson Bullet mentioned that he was good with everything except the 21 and stated he wishes it was state wide. Jim Wilusz, some towns have done 19, some have done 20, and it’s the board’s decision. Chairperson Bullet there are others things that can be done at 18. Both members Meaney and Lamb support the tobacco 21, data speaks for itself. Once we have the public hearing, the board can decide. Jim Wilusz will help with the hearing. Have a sign in sheet and set ground rules. He can help with a cover letter to the retail stores. They will be affected. You can close the public hearing and decide the next month. It may be easier to decide that night. Give at least 3 months for effective date of change. Councilor Moran discusses the rate of smoking in North Adams during pregnancy is 444% higher that the state wide. He is currently working on the superintendent search committee. As a new superintendent shaping our youth and helping out the community. The evidence shows that 21 is that tipping point. We have a high teenage smoking rate also. The data supports the 21. Smoking is gone, sexy smoking commercials are gone now we have a throat box and that’s dirty and gross. NBCC currently working on getting people to quit. He thanks the board and Jim Wilusz for all we do. Williamstown has increased the age and Adams is close, Lanesboro and Pittsfield has done it. Jim Wilusz has noticed that in other communities that are doing 21, the youth are moving into the other communities that create other issues. You become an adult at 18, but scientific evidence shows that the brain is not yet fully developed until the age of 25. When they raised the age of alcohol, motor vehicle accidents and high school DUI’s significantly dropped and that is where that data is coming from. Member Lamb questioned the violations in the regulations. The board is the issuing authority, we can revoke a license at any time stated Jim Wilusz. Behind the scenes they are doing compliance checks. We could always call them in and ask for an action plan. This regulations gives them the retailers more opportunity to comply. Once license is revoked, they never get it back. If the board is ok with this regulation then leave it, we can always make amendments to the regulations. The next board meeting will be the public hearing. (April 20th) with the effective date of August 1st.
Director O’Brien discusses the Tapestry Health Needle Exchange Program, asking the board what they want to do. Chairperson Bullett mentioned that they hadn’t followed through. Member Meaney asked if they were working with Adams. Director O’Brien will reach out to them again and see what the holdup was. He also mentioned that we have a lot of big sharp containers that we could give to the police department for their cruisers. We take them anyway, but we don’t know where they go after being collected from the Police Department. We don’t know where they put the needles now. They do not come to City Hall stated Director O’Brien. They may be bringing them to the Ambulance Service. The director will talk with Director Cozzaglio. When we run out, then we try and get a grant to cover costs.
Reports of Director and Code Enforcement:
32 inspections, 2 pending re-inspections, 23 total certificates issued totaling $960.00.
(1) No heat at 89 Chestnut. The owner lives out of town and has Cavalier Management as the local agent. After leaving several messages with both the owner and Cavalier, the director finally got the owner to contact a licensed plumber to address the issues. (2) Mold complaint at 117A Brayton Hill. The director spoke with Brenda the manager and informed her to contact the environmental company to assess and remediate any mold if found. The apartment was in deplorable conditions, currently occupied by 2 adults, with only 1 on the lease and 2 children. This is a one bedroom unit with too many occupants, so DCF was contacted. We are still waiting to hear back from them.
Restaurant Complaints: (1) China Buffet had a complaint of food poisoning specifically Norovirus. Upon investigating, there were no signs of potential food abuse. There were a few violations pertaining to the physical facility, dates missing, and foods removed from their original packages and missing thermometers in the refrigeration units. (2) Public; The director was contacted by the North Adams Dispatcher on Friday March 4th around 8:30 PM. The dispatcher stated there was a grease fire in the kitchen. Upon arrival I met with Lieutenant Beverly from the NAFD and he assessed me of the situation. I entered the restaurant to find Jared Decateau. The director informed him that he should start a log and put all of the items in the kitchen to be destroyed on it. I wanted him to do this in case he could claim any of his lose on his insurance. The restaurant was then shut down for the evening. Mr Decateau hired a licensed plumber to fix all affected gas lines. A re-inspection was performed by the director and Plumbing and Gas Inspector Rolnick on Saturday morning. The restaurant was then permitted to reopen for business.
35-37 High St (Owner: Chris Bonnivier) Major electrical issues. Over loaded electrical panel. There are 8 units in the building, as the gas heaters went off line, he didn’t repair them. He was putting in electric baseboard units in the bedrooms. There was (2) 200 amp services, which should have been a 600 amp service just for the heat costing $10,000.00. The owner expressed he is not willing to do any work, giving the keys back to the bank (Greylock Federal Credit Union). The director sent all the paper work to the bank as well as the homeowner. At this point, everyone is out and replaced in other apartments, but there is still trash, we may do a municipal lien. The owner is in Lake George and no interest to do anything.
145-147 Cliff St (Owner: Andrew Schmidt) Building is collapsing upon itself and is near the road. This is now an eminent hazard to pedestrians and drivers alike. The city put in jersey barriers and shored up. This property will be taken down. Mr. Schmidt expressed the fact that he will give it to the city, and doesn’t want to cause any problems. He also owns the house right next to it on the corner (153 Cliff St) which had heat violations. The owner will address the heat issues at 153 Cliff St. Before leaving, the tenant put a beating on the building and wrecked a lot of stuff that he is working on.
298 State St (Owner: the City of North Adams) This property is slated to demolished and there was still a tenant (squatter) John Arigoni who needed to be removed. There was a ton of material back there, car parts, vehicles, boats. There is a Bronco out front for sale that will be towed.
300 Beaver St (Owner: David Berger of DSM Properties) Completely deplorable living conditions. The tenant left without any notice. She left two adult grandchildren, 18 cats, and an enormous pile of trash and junk behind. The owner immediately contacted PJ’s Trucking to remove the trash.
119 Brayton Hill: The apartment was originally condemned due to an intentional fire. The apartment has been gut renovated and all the required permits have been signed off by their appropriate inspectors.
The director attended a housing seminar at the Blue Bonnet. Paul Halfman of the MDPH was a speaker. Paul is very informative due to the fact he had a part in writing the State Sanitary Code. The Assistant State Fire Marshall also spoke about proper placement of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This was a great opportunity mainly because of the extensive question and answer session. The director received the state statue regarding entrance which he relayed to the Police and Fire Departments.
(129 Hall Street – Officer Randall informed the director of an issue) once we get more information we will react.
Nancy Ruderman of the Lanesboro Health Department came up to the office to perform an FDA Food assessment. The assessment is necessary to obtain FDA grant funding for the online permitting module. Thanks to Melissa this process was short and we scored much higher than surrounding communities taking part in the assessment. Melissa’s organizational skills boosted our rating from the average of (2) to a (6). All of the information Nancy required for us to achieve the level of (6) was at my finger tips and easily obtained. This is once again a testament to Melissa’s diligent work and attention to detail. The next step to this process is the Choke Saver part with the Ambulance.
The director just heard from Marl Maloy regarding the permitting pricing process. At first they asked for any and all permits. The IT company said this is too much and you have to narrow it down to 4 or 5 at which point the additional cost will be $4000, but the DRCP is covering all IT costs, and with less forms, it will be a lot simpler.
On April 19th, I will be starting a course to become a state licensed soil evaluator. The class will be part classroom study and part field study. Both parts require an exam to be taken, one classroom and one field test. This course will be held on Tuesdays starting on the 19th and ends on June 7th most classes are in Acton, MA. We do a lot of Title V’s with a lot of septic systems. We currently pay people for perk tests that we may end up doing.
The next Meeting will be April 20, 2016.
Meeting adjourned at 5:25pm.
Melissa J. Martin