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Board of Health MeetingOctober 18, 2017
Meetings & Notices
City of North Adams
Board of Health
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Conference Room #202
• Approval of Minutes (September 20, 2017)
• Francis Gardzina (136 Veazie Street)
• Sherri Bernasconi (38 Veazie Street)
• Mass Sierra Club – Natural Gas Pipeline
• Appoint Michael / Agent
Brendan Bullett, Chairperson
October 18, 2017
Members Present: Brendan Bullett (Chairperson), Kevin Lamb (Member)
Others Present: Valerie Bird, (Director of Health), William Meranti, Director of Inspection Services), Melissa Martin (BOH Secretary), Michael Moore (Code Enforcement), Tammy Daniels (IBerkshires), Francis Gardzina, Sherri Bernasconi, and Charles Ransford
Brendan Bullet made a motion to accept and waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, seconded by John Meaney. Unanimous vote.
Francis Gardzina requests to speak to the board regarding a violation report dated 09/08/17 (136 Veazie Street). Mr. Gardzina stated that the violation mentioned exterior debris, accessory structure (camper) and that several inspectors have come out. He disputes that the camper is in violation and is not being used as an accessory structure. Director Bird informed the board that the camper is considered temporary housing per 105CMR and he would need permission from the Board of Health to be allowed to stay. The director also stated that there is a tarp over half of the camper and if it was completely tarped over, that would not be an issue. Mr. Gardzina continues with there is no violation and nothing in the regulations and this should be dismissed. The only complaints come from his neighbor the Marklands which he complains that is a nuisance. Director Bird stated that it was an eyesore and should be completely covered at all times. (photos) Director Meranti mentioned that Mr. Gardzina himself told him that he does use it as an accessory structure for smoking, etc. Mr. Gardzina informed the board that the case was in housing court and was dropped today. After further discussion, Chairman Bullett made a motion for the camper to be covered entirely within 7 days and second by Member Lamb. Unanimous vote.
Sherri Bernasconi (tenant @ 38 Bracewell Avenue) Requested to speak to the board regarding the condemnation of her apartment. Director Bird informed the board that we were called from the Police Department, did an inspection and condemned the apartment because of the conditions including 5 cats that are contributing to this issue. Director Bird was concerned that Ms. Bernasconi’s partner is in a wheelchair and the apartment is on the second floor. Director Bird made contact with the owner Charles Ransford and agreed that he could place the tenants in another apartment on the first floor. The director informed the board that there were 2 inspections today. Both inspectors, Bird and Moore conducted the inspection and conditions had not changed. (photos) Director Bird informed the board that they were taking and placing all 5 cats on Friday. Ms. Bernasconi needs help with cleaning and had Elder Services but they stopped with their services because of the conditions stated Director Bird. Ms. Bernasconi disagreed and stated that Elder Services had stopped because of the back stairs. Chairman Bullet asked Mr. Ransford if there was another apartment that could be occupied. He, Mr. Ransford stated yes and that Sherri was a good tenant, except for the 5 cats that are contributing to this situation. Chairman Bullet commented that this would be the best solution. Ms. Bernasconi, claimed that she can’t move and wants to stay also saying that she has been trying. Director Bird informed the board that Ms. Bernasconi is currently working with Jeff Peck from Tenancy Preservation, helping her get services. Should we wait until we hear from Mr. Peck, however, I am concerned about the gentlemen in the wheelchair being in the second floor apartment. Director Meranti mentions to the board that this was a problem in the past and the city should keep this apartment condemned until such time it is ready to be reoccupied. There are 2 reasons this should stay condemned, the egress stairs (currently working on) and the house keeping including the animals have contributed to this issue. Mr. Ransford inquired about the stairs. The stairs are not really an issue at this time claims both Bird and Meranti. Chairman Bullet comments on the safety of the other tenant being in a wheelchair on the second floor. Director Meranti states that the city has been very reasonable at this point and if the cats were removed Friday and the apartment was cleaned up shortly after that, then she can return to occupy. The City will work with Mr. Ransford in finding a temporary fix to this situation. Director Meranti is not comfortable with extending any more time just for convenience for the tenant. Chairman Bullet again asked Mr. Ransford is the apartment was available, Mr. Ransford stated, yes. However, the tenant has to have the utilities turned on. Ms. Bernasconi stated that she was not moving. Chairman Bullet mentioned that part of the board’s job is making the public safe and that he trust both Bird and Meranti’s opinion of this situation. At this time, Mr. Ransford offers some of his workers to help clean the apartment for Ms. Bernasconi. Director Meranti asked how soon can this happen, the cleaning and removal of the cats? After further discussion, it was agreed that as long as the cats were gone by Friday and cleaning began on Monday or Tuesday, we, the City can re-inspect on Wednesday, October 25th. If there are no violations at that time, the condemnation could be lifted. Member Lamb thanks Mr. Ransford for his generosity and agrees that this is a fair decision. Director Bird and Moore will remove the cats on Friday 10/20. A motion was made by Chairman Bullet and second by Member Lamb to allow the directors to re-inspect this property at 38 Bracewell Avenue on Wednesday, October 25th. Unanimous vote.
Mass Sierra Club – Natural Gas Pipeline was tabled until next meeting so that the board can research further.
A motion was made by Chairman Bullet and second by Member Lamb to appoint Michael Moore as Board of Health Agent. Unanimous vote.
Reports (see attached report of the Health Director)
Meeting adjourned @ 5:12pm.