| REPORT OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH
We respectfully submit the annual report of the Abington Board of Health for the
calendar year 2006.
The Board of Health has the responsibility to protect the public health of citizens
developing, implementing and enforcing health policies, pursuant to the
Massachusetts General Laws.
The Board of Health continues to manage the trash disposal contract and has opted
to extend Waste Solution's contract for one year. The Board of Health institutes and
manages an array of recycling initiatives including enforced mandatory recycling,
recycling of CRT's, propane tanks, white goods, and a town run compost site.
Continued increased recycling could further reduce trash disposal rates and the grey
container left of the Library has had great response for disposal of used and
unwanted books. "Got Books" helps keep heavy books out of the waste stream.
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 inquires 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
During 2006 the Board of Health responded to inquiries from residents seeking
in¬formation or reporting complaints with rubbish/recycling/leaf collection and drop
off. Many of these calls were regarding the disposal of televisions, computer monitors,
propane tanks and appliances. A majority of the calls were regarding trash, recycling,
hazardous waste, tires, car batteries and leaves. The remaining calls dealt with dust
complaints, water runoff complaints, housing and mold complaints, food establishment
complaints, septic/sewage overflow and/or odor, dead animals, infectious diseases,
flu clinics, rabies clinics, and burial permits. Well water installations and testing,
mosquito spraying, 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 received a Bonus Grant of $ 1,000.00 from Walmart in January.
The Annual Rabies Clinic was conducted on April 29, 2006 at the Highway
Department. Dr. Curtin vaccinated 89 dogs and cats at a discounted cost of $10.00
Flu clinics were held in November and December, the visiting nurse, Gail Miller
administered 910 doses of influenza vaccine to Abington residents.
Our Senior Tax Rebate Program includes two seniors this year. Mr. James Rapson
and Mr. Hal Norton 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 9:00 A.M. to
2:00 P.M. rain or shine. 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, floods, oil spills, illegal dumping or septic failures. During the
winter months the health officer will receive no heat calls as well.
Each food establishment in town is required by State Law to be inspected twice a year
with reinspections as needed. The Health Officer has inspected each food service
establishment twice with follow up inspections when receiving a complaint.
The Abington Board of Health held a joint Hazardous Waste Day with the town of
Whitman hosting the event on September 9, 2006. The cost of the hazardous
materials collection was $1,259.92.
The Health Officer's duties include witnessing percolation tests, reviewing Title V
reports, reviewing plans for septic systems, conducting onsite inspections of septic
systems, pool and beach inspections, beach water testing, retail and restaurant
inspections, well inspections, housing code violations, burial permits, responding to
the nuisance complaints (noise or dust), 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, DPH Emergency Preparedness Region 5 meet¬ings, South Shore
Recycling Meetings, Department Head meetings, a paper recovery work¬shop,
Asbestos Remediation Seminar, DEP seminar, South Shore Agents meetings, two
tabletop exercises for emergency preparedness (pandemic influenza and bird flu), a
community sanitation seminar on camps and pools, and an ICS 100 training through
the police department.
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 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.
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 her continued commitment to Abington's
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.
Roger Atkinson, Chairman
Susan Brennan, Vice-Chairman
Michelle Roberts, Health Officer
Maureen Kilroy, Adm. Assistant
|Board of Health 2006 Annual Report