REPORT OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH
We respectfully submit the annual report of Abington Board of Health for the
calendar year 2004.
The Board of Health has the responsibility to protect the public health of
citizens by developing, implementing and enforcing health policies, pursuant to
the Massachusetts General Laws.
The Board of Health's major areas of responsibility are as follows:
1. Public Health/Environmental Sanitation
2. Health Officer Duties
3. P/T Administrative Assistant Duties
4. Health Promotional Services/Clinics
5. Trash/Solid Waste/Hazardous Waste/Recycling
Public Health/Environmental Sanitation
This category includes inquiries concerning the water supply and beach safety,
food establishments, mosquito control, vermin control, infectious disease
reporting, illegal dumping of refuse or hazardous materials, asbestos, lead,
mercury, household trash and recycling.
During 2004 the Board of Health responded to more than 6000 inquires from
residents seeking information or reporting complaints with rubbish recycling leaf
collation. Ten percent of these calls were regarding the disposal of televisions,
computer monitors and propane tanks. Sixty percent of the calls were regarding
trash, recycling, hazardous waste, tires, car batteries and leaf collection. The
remaining calls dealt with housing complaints, mold complaints, food
establishment complaints, septic/sewage, animals, infectious diseases, flu
clinics, rabies clinics, burial permits, feral cats, well water installations and
testing, mosquitoes, dead birds, EEE and West Nile Virus.
The Board of Health continues a drop off service at the Abington Compost Site
on Groveland Street for CRT's (televisions and computer monitors). Permits
can be purchased at the Board of Health office at the Town Hall. Propane tanks
can be dropped off at the compost site for a nominal fee. The compost is
available to all residents free of charge.
The Board of Health awarded a three-year trash contract to Waste Solutions of
Marshfield on July 1st. Newspaper recycling is up by 4%.
The Annual Rabies Clinic was conducted on April 3, 2004 at the Highway
Department. Dr. Curtin vaccinated 65 dogs and 63 cats at a cost of $10 per
In August of 2004 the Board of Health received a site assignment application
for a 600 ton per day transfer station consisting of construction and demolition
waste. In November of 2004, the Department of Environmental Protection
denied the application stating the two-foot from ground water separation was
not met. The proponent, Abington Transfer Station (ATS) filed an appeal to
DEP's findings in December of 2004.
Our Senior Tax Rebate Program includes three seniors this year: Mrs. Joan
Teal works in the Board of Health office, filing, copying and answering the
telephone. Mr. Al Sebastyn and Mr. James Rapson work at the Groveland
Street Compost Site from the first Saturday in April to the last Saturday in
November collecting CRT's, propane tanks and providing residents with a leaf
drop off service every other Saturday from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. The Board of
Health wants to commend our volunteers for their time, dependability and
competency for the work they do for the community.
Health Officer Duties
The full-time Health Officer, Michelle Roberts carries out the day-to-day
responsibilities of the Board of Health. If an emergency arises at night or on
weekends the overseeing officials call out the health officer to respond to
restaurant or retail store fires, oil spills, illegal dumping, or septic failures.
Each food establishment in town is required by State Law to be inspected twice
a year with re-inspections as needed. The Health Officer has inspected each
food service establishment twice with follow up inspections when receiving a
The Abington Board of Health hosted a tri-town (Abington, Whitman and
Holbrook) Hazardous Waste Day on October 2, 2004. One hundred four
Abington residents dropped off pesticides, oil based paint, wood stain,
aerosols, pool chemicals, wood preservatives, waste oil and gas, cell phones
and mercury at a cost of $4,362.00. The mercury collected included 79
thermometers, 13 thermostats, 1 lab thermometer and 4.1kg of liquid mercury.
The Health Officer's duties include witnessing percolation tests, reviewing Title
V reports, reviewing plans for septic systems, conducting on-site inspections of
septic systems, pool and beach inspections, beach water testing, retail and
restaurant inspections, well inspections, housing code violations, burial permits,
responding to nuisance complaints, trash and recycling complaints, assisting
the visiting nurse with flu clinics and infectious disease reports and coordinating
and attending the annual rabies clinic. She also responds to day-to-day
complaints while enforcing local rules and regulations of the State Sanitary
Code. The Health Officer attended a three day Massachusetts Health Officers
Association Annual Conference in Hyannis, a MEHA workshop on Housing and
the Law, a training at the State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain for Health Alert
Network training, a Food borne Illness Investigation Training, and a workshop
training entitled Bugs, Bedbugs and other Arthropods of Public Health Interest.
The Health Officer is a voting member of the South Shore Recycling
Collaborative and attends monthly meetings. She is also a voting member of
the Massachusetts Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coalition and
attends monthly meetings. This Coalition was formed through a Federal
Bioterrorism Response Grant from the Center of Disease Control. The Town of
Abington received approximately $5,000.00 dollars in field and office equipment
including training and workshops through this grant.
Part-time Administrative Assistant's Duties
The Administrative Assistant, Maureen Kilroy, duties include answering and
assisting resident complaints and inquires. Preparation and issuance of burial,
tattoo. CRT, septic pumping, septic installers, trash haulers, food service, retail
food, catering, mobile food, massage, tobacco and well permits. The
Administrative Assistant bills, collects and processes these permit fees. She
schedules compost site days, schedules a work crew and advertises. Her
record keeping includes tracking trash/recycling tonnage, preparation of billing
and payroll vouchers, preparing meeting packets and agendas and annual
budgets. She records and reports all communicable diseases to the proper
authorities. The Administrative Assistant attends all Board of Health meetings
and prepares and maintains these official records. In October she attended an
In House Guide to Mold Abatement so could answer the residents mold
concerns. She handles additional projects as the need arises. The revenue
intake for the fiscal year 2004 was $ 29,953.00
Health Promotion Services/Clinics
Through the diligent efforts of Gail Miller, the visiting nurse provides residents
of the Town of Abington a full range of public health services. Mrs. Miller
submits her own annual report, inclusive of flu clinics, school programs and
communicable disease follow-up. The Board of Health would like to thank our
visiting nurse for her organizational skills, professionalism and continued
commitment the Town's residents.
The Board of Health wishes to acknowledge the excellent cooperation received
from town departments, boards, committees and organizations, as well as from
the residents of Abington, in maintaining compliance with the public health rules
and regulations of the Town and Commonwealth.
Michelle Roberts, Health Officer
Maureen Kilroy, Adm. Assistant
|Board of Health Annual Report