tobacco violations addressed,
39 Lake Street to be razed
by Thomas D’Agostino
WEBSTER - There were 13 confirmed flu cases reported for the month of December. This does not reflect the number of cases that went unreported. The town had 50 doses of vaccines available. At the Jan. 14 Board of Health meeting Health Agent, Cathleen Liberty stated that the Commonwealth has no more to issue. Webster residents have already taken advantage of 30 free vaccines, leaving 20 remaining. The board reports that reported flu cases in Massachusetts have dropped 2.91% for the beginning of January. The number of cases reported was up 4.95%.
The board voted unanimously to raze the building at 39 Lake Street after several nuisance property warnings were posted. The owner has been in conflict with the board since 2010. Letters of the unsafe conditions were sent to the owner, who then took out permits to make any repairs to the property. There has been little to no progress since. The board agreed to send the owner, Gary Rochette, its decision. Mr. Rochette, according to the board, has not had or met the means to comply with deadlines.
The board also addressed the issuance of tobacco violations, in which seven Webster establishments allegedly sold cigarettes to a minor. The Worcester Regional Tobacco Control Collaborative holds routine compliance checks that involve an underage officer attempting to buy cigarettes at local businesses. The businesses that failed the compliance check have been fined $100. 7-Eleven on 95 Main Street has opted to contest the issue contending that no clerk employed there would willingly sell tobacco products to a minor. The other stores include Jimmy’s Convenience at 415 Main Street, Mac’s Auto at 77 East Main Street, Nipmuc Liquors at 35 Thompson Road, Gulf at 137 East Main Street, Sunnyside Farms at 25 Lake Street and Citgo at 144 Thompson Road. Those who have not yet paid the fine risk a penalty for noncompliance of payment.
The board also received complaints from police in regard to 38-40 Prospect Street. Ms. Liberty inspected the property for reports of unsanitary conditions noted inside the building while the Building Inspector’s department investigated deteriorating conditions on the exterior. Although there were unsanitary issues on the inside, the structural issues were much greater than the unsanitary conditions inside the building. The matter has been turned over to the Building Inspector’s office in regard to the issue of condemnation of the fourteen-unit apartment building.