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Adams Board of Health Mulls Improper Demolition

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health is mulling how to handle the unpermitted demolition of two structures on Cook Street last December.

The contractors hired by the town neglected to properly permit the demolition and bait the building for rodents or check for toxic materials.

Chairman Allen Mendel last week said the board should seek legal opinion on the recent demolitions on the Hoosac Valley Coal and Grain property.

He suggested holding a meeting with town officials and the contractor to reaffirm the proper protocol.

"There has to be a protocol and a procedure for how these things are do," Mendel said at Wednesday's meeting. "We have certain things we need that didn’t take place for some reason."

Board of Health member Bruce Shepley said he was most concerned about liability and wanted to make sure the board is off the hook.

"If there was contamination in the soil or in the structure itself and it goes back and gets tested and we did nothing as the board, what is the liability," Shepley said. "We have to cover ourselves."

Shepley also said he wants to place warning signs about ticks at the town parks and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.

"We know the it is a public health threat, and I would like to put these signs up so people know how to identify ticks and how dangerous they can be," Shepley said. He will send a letter to the town and state inquiring about the signage process  .

Shepley said the Adams Police Departments and Adams Ambulance Service are working on a syringe and sharps policy and procedure and to provide a safe place for people to discard medical needles. 

He thought the Board of Health should be part of this and should create its own policy.

Mendel said the police often hold collections during which people can drop off sharps sealed in empty soda bottles and pills, however, it would be good to have a permanent disposal station.  

He also reported that the Tri-Town Health Department had looked over the towns current tobacco regulations and provided a draft of the regulations with updated language reflecting changes in tobacco law and definitions.

The Board of Health will review the new regulations. This has to be done before the board can hold a public hearing to increase the tobacco sale age to 21.

Tags: board of health,   demolition,   ticks,   tobacco regulations,   

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