PEPPERELL -- The Board of Health approved variances for the Pepperell Skydiving Center located at the Pepperell Airport, enabling the facility to operate a "family-style campground" for the remainder of the year. The approvals were not without conditions as identified by Nashoba Associated Boards of Health Director James Garreffi, who inspected the facility on June 16.
The board gave the Skydiving Center until July 10, 2014, to implement Garreffi's recommendations which include piping in water to each RV site, a formal inspection of all RVs offered for rent at the facility, approval of the campground layout by the Fire Department, removal of any outdoor showers not connected to the sewerage disposal system, providing portable hand sinks for all "porta-potties" at the facility, and permission from the Board of Health when any event might result in exceeding the campground's licensed capacity.
Garreffi stated in his report that there were no violations that would "compromise health and safety," but that implementation of the recommendations would negate the need for future variances.
Health Agent Kalene Gendron reported that she had investigated a complaint on health and safety conditions at 52 Lowell Road.
"I went out a few times. Unfortunately, nobody's been home the times I've gone out, but you can hear animals barking," said Gendron, who estimated that there were three to five dogs or more at the residence.
"You can see in the windows that
Gendron expressed concerns over the currency of the animals' vaccines.
Gendron is also working with a tenant at 28 Bemis Road to address a complaint regarding "conditions inside the dwelling that potentially could endanger her or anybody that resides within the dwelling."
"I did a few site visits there. I'm concerned actually for what I'm seeing, and there appears to be merit to the complaint," said Gendron.
The board accepted the year-end report from Animal Inspector Robin Hebert. The report covers the last three months of the fiscal year which ended on June 30. Incidents reported by Hebert ranged from dog fights and dog bites resulting in animal quarantines to stray oxen, cows and horses. Hebert also responded to an injured coyote sighting, bats that attacked a dog, and a sick raccoon, to name a few.
"I respond to some calls that do not technically fall in my job description, but we don't have an animal control officer in town," said Hebert.
Acting Chairman Phillip Durno once again raised the possibility of combining the roles of the animal health inspector and dog officer, and creating an animal control position.
"It would be to our benefit to increase the amount of money that the animal inspector gets in the annual budget," said Durno, who noted the increased number of animals in town and the increased number of calls.
The board approved a septic upgrade permit for 142 Townsend St.