MINUTES OF THE CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

BOARD OF HEALTH MEETING

January 31, 2006

 

Time and Place of Meeting:  The January monthly meeting, held at the Cranbury Town Hall, was duly opened by Vice Chair Shapiro at 7:00 p.m.

 

In Attendance:  Bernice Shapiro, Board Vice Chair; John Jackson, Board Member; Cheryl Coyle, Board Member; Angela Cook, Board Member; Dr. John Coumbis, Board Member; Lynn Forrester, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Middlesex County Public Health Department; Sharon Martens, Middlesex County Public Health Department; Edward Konin, Esq., Board Attorney; and Kathleen Wasson, Board Secretary.  Mayor Thomas F. Panconi, Jr. attended the meeting.  Two Cranbury residents also attended.

 

Call to Order:  With a quorum present, Vice Chair Shapiro called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. and stated that adequate notice of the meeting’s date, time and place had been provided to the public pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.) by mailing to the media, posting on the Township bulletin board and filing with the Town Clerk.  The Board proceeded with new business.

                                                                                                                  

 

Reorganization:  Nominations were opened for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair.  Cheryl Coyle nominated Bernice Shapiro as Board Chair.  John Jackson seconded the nomination.  The vote was unanimous in favor of Ms. Shapiro.  Cheryl Coyle was nominated as Vice Chair by John Jackson.  Bernice Shapiro seconded the nomination.  The vote was unanimous in favor of Ms. Coyle.  Board Attorney Edward Konin issued the oath of service to  all Board members.

 

First order of business:  November and December Meeting Minutes

The November minutes were unanimously approved; motion by Cheryl Coyle; second by John Jackson.  The December minutes were unanimously approved; motion by John Jackson; second by Cheryl Coyle. 

 

Second order of business:  Public Health Report

          The Board members received the monthly report for December, 2005 and January, 2006.  Lynn Forrester reviewed the substance of the reports for the Board.  January report:  Hot Wok should be opening in two weeks. Jessica conducted a pre-certification inspection.  Thereafter, the procedure is that, when it opens, Jessica will go back within 30 days on a surprise visit to inspect again.  December report:  Dr. Coumbis asked whether there was any sign of abuse of the dogs involved in the attack.  It was apparently a random, unprovoked attack.  Ed Konin asked whether the dogs were declared “dangerous dogs” under the new statute.  Lynn did not know.  Dr. Coumbis wondered whether the court judgment was enough to protect the community.  Ed Konin said that it is up to the court and the criteria established by statute.  Mayor Panconi asked how long it will take to get the variance for the fence.  John Jackson suggested that the Board ask Jessica Smit to obtain further information for the next meeting.  Dr. Coumbis made a motion to develop a set of standard operating procedures for dealing with these issues in the future.  John Jackson seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of approval.  The Board agreed with Chairwoman Shapiro that they should look to see what other towns do.

 

Third order of business:  Environmental Report

          The Board members received the report for the month of December, 2005.  There were no activities.  Sharon Martens attended a meeting and received a model management ordinance for the maintenance of septic systems.   This was prepared because new systems are being developed more frequently than in the past.  Sharon Martens said that the Board might want to adopt an ordinance based on this document.  Sharon will provide the January report next month- she had activity today in the Town and wants to include it in her report.  Sharon and Ed Konin discussed alternate septic systems.  John Jackson said that the Board never saw any information on these systems.  Sharon will provide this information to the Board.  A general discussion took place concerning whether the Board is obliged to monitor the ongoing maintenance of the town’s septic systems.  Ed Konin said that Montgomery County has adopted the model ordinance and they can be contacted to obtain a copy.  In answer to a question by Dr. Coumbis, Sharon Martens discussed the consequences of a homeowner not complying with the requirement to pump out the system every three years.  Chairwoman Shapiro would like to provide as much information to the public on this topic as possible.

 

Fourth order of business: Old Business

          The Spring Rabies Clinic has been scheduled for April 22nd from 12 noon to 2 p.m.  The Fall clinic is scheduled for October 21st.  Dr. Coumbis discussed that there is a shortage of rabies vaccine for humans.  Lynn Forrester said that she has not heard anything about a shortage.  Dr. Coumbis asked whether the veterinarian and animal control officer are vaccinated.  Chairwoman Shapiro will follow up with the Board physician.

          Cheryl Coyle confirmed that the 2 blood pressure cuffs were installed at the school using the BOH donated funds.

          Community programs – last year, discussions were held about sponsoring community education programs provided by Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) and Princeton Hospital.  Chairwoman Shapiro suggested contacting Mel Lehr, the Four Seasons liaison to Township Committee, to discuss this possibility.  Mayor Panconi is setting up a quarterly meeting with the Four Seasons community and a member of the Township committee selected on a rotating basis.  Mayor Panconi suggested that the BOH can be incorporated into these meetings.  Angie Cook said that John Patella, a Cranbury resident, runs the Community Outreach program for RWJ.  She suggested that he may be able to set up some programs in town.  Chairwoman Shapiro would like to put something in the Spring newsletter about any such meetings/programs and other information about health issues.

 

Fifth order of business:  New Business

          Dr. Coumbis wanted to know if anyone is interested in serving on a medical reserve corps (MRC), certified and credentialed by the federal government (HHS) in conjunction with the county, for the Township to be trained to deal with a public health emergency.  Dr. Coumbis will make a presentation for the Board at the next meeting.

 

Mayor Panconi said the Township Committee would like a year end report from all Boards and Commissions for 2006.  A copy of the Environmental Commission report was distributed as a model.  Mayor Panconi said that ConAgra is presenting a problem for the Town.  He described the functions of the business, which creates odors.  The company and ConAgra have been contacted and the issue has been going on for a long time.  There was a meeting yesterday with county officials to determine a course of action which would attempt to avoid imposing fines on the company.  There are some filtration systems, however, they are not complete.  There will be a meeting with ConAgra in a few weeks.  A Cranbury resident said that he spoke with Township Administrator Tom Witt yesterday concerning who to call about this issue.  The resident said that Mr. Witt did not have the telephone number and had to ask his secretary, Linda Scott, for the number.  The resident said that Mr. Witt, as Township Administrator, should have that number in his head.  The resident said that Mr. Witt promised to provide him with the telephone number today and never heard from Mr. Witt.  The resident further said that the Township sanitarian did not return his call until the day after he called her.  Mayor Panconi provided the county telephone number to the resident.  Mayor Panconi noted that the odor is a nuisance odor, not a hazardous odor.  Sharon Martens said that Jessica Smit has a pager and if she can not be reached with that by a secretary for the town, the county health office can be called and they would send an officer if she can not be reached.  Ed Konin asked if there is any experience in dealing with this in Omaha, the only other place where this process is done.  Omaha is the home office of ConAgra.  Cheryl Coyle asked whether Firmenich corporation, in Plainsboro, has any history with this type of issue since they deal with emitting odors as well.  A resident added that the Township has some control over ConAgra because they discharge into our sewer system and there are requirements on the discharge. 

 

Public Forum:  The Chair opened the public forum at 8:30 p.m.  A resident asked who the Township Committee liaison is and was told that it was Pari Stave.  A resident discussed invisible fences and how people are scared and delivery people can be menaced by animals regardless of the invisible fence.  A resident said that there is a barking issue as well with his neighbors.  Chairwoman Shapiro said that she would table this issue and do some research for a future meeting.

 

A resident said that the Township should have a health fair for all townspeople, as the Four Seasons did for its community residents last year.  It was noted that the County provides health screenings individually, but not all in one location at one time.  Dr. Coumbis said that a health assessment should be done to ask the residents about their health needs.

 

Adjournment:  There being no further business before the Board, Chairwoman Shapiro stated that she would entertain a motion to adjourn.  The motion was made by John Jackson and seconded by Cheryl Coyle.  The vote was unanimous in favor of adjournment and the meeting was concluded at 8:45 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Certification:  I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that I am the duly appointed Secretary of the Cranbury Township Board of Health and that this document, consisting of   pages, constitutes a true and correct copy of the minutes of the monthly meeting held on January 31, 2006.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name this 1st day of March, 2006.

 

 

 

 

Kathleen S. Wasson

Board Secretary