Health Board Review Tobacco Violation | News
TEWKSBURY — The Health Commission met on Thursday, August 18, 2022. Members her Melissa Braga and Charles Roux were not present.
The Board spoke with Assistant Town Manager Steve Sadwick, who discussed the proposed retail marijuana ordinance and local water well regulations.
According to Sadwick’s comments, the proposed retail marijuana ordinance was brought to the attention of the Board of Health in case they had any questions or concerns. permits the retail sale of alcoholic beverages and provides licensing rights similar to the licensing of liquor.
Locally, towns can limit the number of licenses, Sadwick said. Board members asked a variety of questions regarding siting, use, and permitting examples.
Regarding well regulation, Sadwick described a Superfund site known as the Sutton Brook landfill, also known as Rocco’s dump. The town has appointed him as one of the persons responsible for the site’s restoration plan.
Sadwick said the town undertook maintenance components of the site, including monitoring groundwater wells. The town has implemented institutional controls to prevent well drilling in areas of plumes identified from the site.
Additionally, Mr. Sadwick said he does not currently have a well, but is in a potentially impacted zone where he may sell his property to a new owner who wants to drill a well but is unaware of the history and circumstances. Currently, the Health Board is not involved in notifying or inspecting when wells are drilled. The board returned to discuss the matter and agreed to work further with the town.
Ron Beauregard, the town’s Healthy Communities Tobacco Control Officer, then discussed with the board the need to update tobacco regulations to include state regulations. The state has some stricter regulations than Tewkesbury and the board should bring current regulations up to that standard. None of the changes will require a public hearing, according to the board. Rather, they are administrative in nature.
The commission heard from a Tewkesbury tobacco retailer accused of tobacco control violations. Regulations require businesses to attend board meetings to explain what happened and discuss future prevention plans.
The 1899 Smoke Shop on 1899 Main St. did not appear as requested. The business received a letter from its board of directors, which discussed further actions, including extending penalties for not attending.
Life’s Too Short, Inc. Tewksbury Mobil defended 1785 Andover St. dba for violation of selling cigarettes to minors on July 13, 2022. Don’t check your customer’s age before running a cigarette sale.
After discussion, the board asked the owners to submit an enhanced plan for training and age verification of their tobacco-buying patrons.
Then Dawn Fisher of E Market, LLC, 1699 Shawsheen St., appeared and asked for leniency for the “perfect storm” event that led to the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. Fisher helped an employee’s daughter because of her back pain the employee was suffering from.
The board said it could not waive state regulatory fines despite extenuating circumstances, but said it would investigate whether fines must be paid in one lump sum or can be paid in installments.
Beauregard began the tobacco control debate, noting areas of Tewkesbury’s regulations that needed to be updated in line with state regulations. Updates address, for example, flavored tobacco products, e-cigarette product disposal, fines, and more.
It was agreed that Beauregard would prepare a summary sheet for the Board of Directors for the next meeting.
The owner of Lisa’s Pizza attended a board meeting to address the unsanitary conditions observed at the restaurant and ongoing work as a result of the fire on the square at 2312 Main St.
Health Director Shannon Gillis spoke of previous “serious breaches” and noted that despite the work done to address the issues, there are still areas of food preparation that are not up to par.
Reports of pests were referenced, and there was also the observation of ‘grease dripping from the ventilation openings at the back of the building’.
The Board requested more detailed reporting on the progress of updates and plans on managing projects such as pest control and cleaning. Additionally, the board said landlords need to be part of the process and are increasingly included in move-in preparation discussions.
Gillis reported that Long Pond still has high cyanobacterial levels and will remain closed. The drought situation has not improved the situation across the state.
Oliveira Farm has been fined less than $100 per day for failing to comply with health board orders, and the town attorney is asked to send a letter to the farm attorney.
The next board meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm at City Hall.