Friday, April 6, 2001
Board of health takes aim at mosquitoes and home hazards
As we put away our winter shovels and get out our gardening gear, our thoughts turn to our friendly flying friends in Carlisle. No, not cardinals and orioles, but the very sociable mosquitoes. The Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) already had the pests on its March 27 agenda.
Last year BOH members advised the town against membership in the Central Massachusetts mosquito control project,
but this year they are recommending membership in the East Middlesex project. Carlisle is situated geographically so that it can choose from either program. The selectmen want to know what has changed in a year.
"Central Mass decides what services you get," said BOH agent Linda Fantasia. "With East Middlesex, you can pick and choose the services." Board members agreed to recommend three mosquito control services to the town: adult mosquito surveillance, wetland trapping, and educational programs. These services would cost the town $10,109. The members are not recommending larvicide pellets and aerial spraying this year, at a cost of about $20,000.
Other towns bordering Carlisle have all joined or are planning to join mosquito control programs. Bedford is already one of the 21 towns that are members of the East Middlesex program and Concord is proposing to join this year. Westford, Chelmsford and Billerica are part of the Central Massachusetts program. These towns all have their wetlands routinely monitored and treated with larvicide as needed, as well as spraying land upon resident request. There are extensive public education programs underway in all three towns. Acton just joined this program as well.
The hazardous waste collection event will take place on April 28 at the transfer station. Residents may bring hazardous items that are not usually accepted at the transfer station such as paint and chemicals. In addition, residents may swap fever thermometers containing mercury for digital thermometers. There is no charge for these services.
Town water sampling will take place on Saturday, May 5. Residents must sign up with the BOH by April 16, to have water samples collected and examined. The services, at a variety of fees, include a comprehensive water examination, and tests for volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radon. For details, see the BOH press release on water testing on page 18.
BOH members discussed two sewage disposal plans for lots in subdivisions: one for Hart Farm and one for Carriage Way. The board came close to approving both, but members requested minor revisions to both.
In the first case, developer Mike Kenny brought back a revised plan for lot 9 at Hart Farm that had a retaining wall dropping seven feet from the driveway. The new plan only drops three and a half feet. The board still had safety concerns about a car or bicycle going down the embankment, and requested a revised drawing with a protective guard rail. Kenny requested that boulders form the barrier, and the board acquiesced.
In the second case, Joe March of the Stamski and McNary design firm argued that a cistern well on lot 2 of Carriage Way, designated for use in fighting a fire in a subdivision, does not need to meet the same standard as a drinking water supply. Wells for drinking water require a setback of 150 feet. This plan, with a fire cistern within the setback, meets all other local and state regulations. After review, the BOH members concurred that the water in a fire cistern does not need to meet the same standards set for drinking water. However, the board held back approval of the plan until a town easement for fire protection is recorded. That will restrict the water for fire-fighting use only.
Fantasia also reported high attendance at the town's rabies clinic on Saturday, March 24. Owners brought in 30 cats and 27 dogs.
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