Problem Properties Slow to Comply

            The owner of property at 28 Pitcher Street sent a letter to Marion Health Director Lori Desmarais summarizing repairs and improved conditions, but acting Health Agent Bob Ethier told the Marion Board of Health during its September 8 public meeting at the Police Station that the project has fallen three weeks off the prescribed pace.

            Ethier reported to board members Dr. John Howard and Dr. Ed Hoffer that the letter declared that the roof of the house has been patched, is weather-tight and has been covered to prevent wildlife from gaining entry.

            The letter further stated that temporary repairs to the eaves were expected to be completed within a day and that permanent repairs would be made once it is officially determined that the house is free and impervious to pests.

            A pest-control company was to work at the property on September 12, and the owner said in his letter that the town would be provided with a receipt for those services along with before-and-after photos. Landscaping, the letter stated, was not progressing at the prescribed pace but could, once the pest removal is complete.

            Nonetheless, Ethier visited the address and reported a lack of progress. He said the proposed remediation schedule was off by three weeks as of the board’s September 8 meeting, and he recommended the owner be ordered to appear before the Board of Health.

            “Based on his past, we’re not getting anywhere,” said Ethier. “When people come before the board, there’s a different response.” The board authorized Ethier to order the owner to appear at the board’s next meeting on September 22.

            Ethier said it was more of the same at 33 Pitcher Street, where vehicles are still on the property, and the yard has not been cleaned up. Ethier told the owner’s attorney that the situation is at the point where fines will be imposed. “She wants to build a house, and you’ve got to at least clean up what you’ve got first,” summarized Ethier.

            “We’ve been more than patient,” said Hoffer.

            Howard suggested sending a certified letter to the owner’s attorney ordering an appearance. Ethier said the attorney seems as frustrated as the town is. “I told him we can’t keep doing this,” said Ethier.

            The couple that inherited the property at 278 Converse Road told Ethier they want to build a new house and asked if they can wait on the septic situation until those plans are enacted. Ethier said the Town of Marion requested but has not received evidence of a contract between the owner and a company to pump out the cesspool. The owner, said Ethier, was reportedly told that the company told the owner there has never been any danger of sewerage overflowing.

            Ethier said that the animal hoarding case at 464 Front Street seems to be resolved for the most part, but gaining access to confirm conditions has been elusive. The owner has granted access to other officials with whom Ethier visits but not to him.

            “I need to get in the house; I need to make sure the property is getting cleaned up. … I don’t need anybody to go with us,” he said. “It’s like a police matter in some ways.”

            Getting information has become difficult in the case of 1121 Point Road, where Ethier will need to seek foreclosure attorneys at Wareham District Court.

            The noncompliance issue at Little Neck Village area inside the dumpster is clean and locked.

            A denitrification septic system in the yard at 570 Front Street has been grown over and is not being used or maintained, according to Ethier. Sewer, he learned, is available to the owner.

            In her Public Health Director Update, Public Health Nurse Lori Desmarais told the board that there were 15 COVID-19 cases in August, and by September 8, there had been 12 cases reported this month. Both Sippican School and Tabor Academy require symptomatic testing this school year, but Sippican is seeking permission to test in school and thusly limited to a test-at-home program for now.

            Tabor Academy held a flu-vaccine clinic on September 4 that distributed 148 shots.

            Marion will hold its flu vaccination clinic on Thursday, September 29, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Cushing Community Center. A tent canopy for the drive-through is expected to go up at the site by the end of this week.

            Desmarais said she would be working the Marion clinic with EMS personnel and has reached out to UMass Dartmouth. “It looks like they’ll have some students to help us out also,” said Desmarais.

            A smaller clinic has been scheduled for Thursday, October 6, in the community room at Little Neck Village.

            Given the discovery of a mosquito carrying the EEE virus, Desmarais said Marion’s health risk has increased from low to moderate.

            Interviews for a new Board of Health member will be conducted in joint session with the Select Board at the latter’s next regularly scheduled public meeting on Tuesday, September 27, at 5:00 pm. Alvin Johnson, Mary Nelson and Tina McMichael have applied to serve the duration of the term vacated this year by Dot Brown and will be interviewed. A joint vote of the Select Board and the Board of Health is planned for October 4.

            The next meeting of the Marion Board of Health is scheduled for Thursday, September 22, at 4:00 pm.

Marion Board of Health

By Mick Colageo

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