Health Department director Shaun McAuliffe, in his update to the Select Board at its Tuesday night meeting, reported that there have been 132 cases of COVID-19 in town. One case is active and there have been 119 recoveries and 12 deaths.
“Recent cases in town have resulted from workplace exposure out of the town, international travel coming to the town, and socializing without proper distancing and face covering,” he said. “We’ve had a number of individuals aged 20-25 test positive or have recent antigen testing revealing that they had been infected within the last 2-3 weeks. What that has done has kind of caused us to refocus on what we need to do as a community to kind of buckle down. And what we intend to do is roll out an initiative tentatively titled ‘It Starts At Home.’ The objective is to re-energize the community, engage the community in modeling good behavior at the home and in the workplace, familiarize all parents with the symptoms they will need to be looking for at home, and acclimating their children to wearing face coverings.”
The parents’ efforts will support the school re-entry program, which continues to be updated as more guidance is released from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
“It will take the community to pull this off,” McAuliffe said. “The better the community buy-in, the greater the chance we all have to return to an almost normal life — that’s work life and home life.”
McAuliffe also indicated that his department sent out notices to 10 businesses in town that recently received notices of violations from the Department of Labor and Standards in the attorney general’s office.
“We are focused on educating the businesses and bringing them into compliance,” McAuliffe said. “Why is this education important? It’s because we are seeing cases of COVID in our local businesses, and we want to make sure we are controlling that risk, that they have implemented the best processes that they can so that our businesses don’t contribute to any spread in the community.”
Fire chief’s goals finalized
In other news from Tuesday’s meeting, the Select Board finalized Fire Chief Steve Slaman’s goals for 2020-21. This had been discussed at a previous meeting but there was a procedural issue so it was not finalized.
The three goals are:
1. Continue the public safety project especially as it pertains to the response times during the Main Street Corridor Project.
2. Collaborate with Eversource in an effort to complete the emergency response guide, including evacuation communication information.
3. Work on a COVID-19 management plan not only for the department but for the community, working collaboratively with the Health Department director and the town manager.
Parks & Rec gets OK to raise Sandy Beach parking fine
Parks & Recreation commissioner Dan Terry and director Jay Guelfi joined the meeting to address issues with parking at Sandy Beach.
Guelfi said that with the pandemic more people are staying local, and that has caused numerous parking issues. The main concern is with trailers, as people — including many non-residents — arrive with boats, jet skis and other watercraft.
A permit from Parks & Rec is required to park in the lot, but the fine is only $20, and Guelfi said many people consider that a reasonable price to pay. The board OK’d upping the fine to $150 and potentially limiting parking to residents. Parks & Rec will discuss the options at an upcoming department meeting.
Board/commission appointments confirmed
The board made a number of annual board and commission appointments.
For the Board of Appeals, former Select Board vice chair John Coutinho was named to fill an open spot as a full-time member and Jerry Tuite was reappointed as an associate member. Both terms expire on June 30, 2025.
Charles Dauchy and Margie Wiggin were appointed to the Trail Coordination and Management Committee, terms expiring June 30, 2023.
Amy Ritterbusch and Beth Watson were reappointed to the Hopkinton Historic District Commission, terms expiring June 30, 2023.
Other appointments included: Ted Barker-Hook to the Conservation Commission (term expiring June 30, 2023), Michelle Heeney to the Cultural Council (term expiring July 21, 2023), Michelle Murdock to the HCAM Board of Directors (term expiring June 30, 2023), Bob Levenson, Robert McGuire and Dorothy Ferriter-Wallace to the Marathon Committee (terms expiring June 30, 2023), Amy Groves, Christine Coffman, Renee Dean, Meena Kaushik, Paul Gallager and Peggy Barton to the Sustainable Green Committee (terms expiring June 30, 2023), Mike Whalen to the Veterans Celebration Committee (term expiring June 30, 2023), Paul Larter to the Woodville Historic District Commission (term expiring June 30, 2023) and Andrea Krammes to the Youth Commission (term expiring June 30, 2023).
Nelson Goldin had applied for reappointment as a special constable, but he passed away last month.
“I’m sad to report that Mr. Goldin recently passed,” Select Board chair Brendan Tedstone said. “Mr. Goldin was a former police officer in Hopkinton and served as special constable for years. The board sends its condolences to Mr. Goldin’s family and are grateful for his service to the town.”
The firm of Miyares & Harrington, LLP (J. Raymond Miyares) was retained as town counsel, while the firm of Mirick O’Connell (Nicholas Anastasopoulos) was retained as labor counsel. Both terms expire June 30, 2021.
Additionally, the following appointments were confirmed: Elizabeth Jefferis as inspector of animals, William Proctor as animal control officer, Charles Dabritz as plumbing and gas inspector, Peter Zereski and Dan Hunt as assistant plumbing and gas inspectors, James Melnick Jr. as wiring inspector as well as person to cut wire in case of fire, Kevin Bouret as assistant wiring inspector, Michael Crisafulli as mutual aid building inspector, Louis Sakin as sealer of weights and measures, and John Palmer, Jaynne Adams, Jessica Palmer, Jaime Wright, Chelsea Adams, William Robinson and Will Crofton as public weighers.
26.2 Foundation OK’d for additional land
The board approved the awarding of a lease for an additional 9.6 acres of property located at 45 East Main Street (Legacy Farms land that was donated by the developer as per the host community agreement) to the 26.2 Foundation, which is planning to build an International Marathon Center. The project already has been approved for approximately 10 acres, making the entire plot 19 acres. The approval is pending successful negotiation between the town and the 26.2 Foundation along with Town Meeting approval.
Host community agreement with marijuana testing company approved
Town manager Norman Khumalo discussed the pending host community agreement with ATOZ Laboratories, which plans to open a marijuana testing facility on South Street. Khumalo said the agreement will include community contributions from the company, but some details first needed to be approved by the state. The board approved the agreement.