Local pharmacy to be administration site
Town Manager Philip Lemnios this week promised a “much more dynamic environment” for inoculating the public with the coronavirus vaccine now that a new administration is in place in the nation’s capital.
“There’s a big commitment by the new administration in Washington, D.C., to get more doses into people’s arms within 100 days,” Lemnios told the Board of Selectmen at its meeting Wednesday. “I think it will become a much more dynamic environment.”
At that same meeting, the selectmen approved the final draft of the Hull Open Space and Recretion Plan and appointed two town officials to the Weir River Water System Citizens Advisory Board during an agenda-packed remote meeting.
“I’ve had a lot of questions from residents asking about the time frame for [the general public] to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the town’s plan to provide it,” Lemnios said, in discussing the vaccine rollout.
“We just finished with the public safety folks and are moving to the next tier in Phase 1 – individuals living in congregate housing,” Lemnios said. “The town has no independence within the schedule set forth by the state, which is literally releasing fewer than 50 doses at a time.”
He further explained that there is no clear indication from the state as to when there will be sufficient quantities of the vaccine available to inoculate larger numbers of people.
Meanwhile, the state is lining up pharmacy locations to administer vaccines to the general public when they become available.
“Rocky at Nantasket Pharmacy has been trained to administer shots and plans to do so when the time comes,” Selectman John Reilly said.
Lemnios noted that the state is taking a methodical approach to distributing the vaccines to avoid the “chaos” that has occurred in some other states.
“There’s obviously a great deal of anxiety, with quite a few people wanting to get the vaccine as soon as possible,” he said. “But until we get greater guidance from the state about administering the vaccine to the general public, it’s impossible to say with any certainty when we will get the vaccine in Hull.”
In other business at the meeting, the selectmen and also the Planning Board, which participated in Wednesday’s meeting, unanimously approved the final Open Space and Recreation Plan. This 291-page document is intended to serve as a guide for the protection and preservation of the town’s unique open space system, its complex needs, and the goals of the community.
The plan lays the groundwork for future planning while at the same time allowing the town flexibility in deciding which of the outlined objectives to pursue.
Having such a plan in place opens the door to possible grant funding for open space and recreation projects.
In other business, the Retirement Board informed the selectmen that Bartley Kelly and Jason Harris are its two newest members.
As for the new water system, voters at last summer’s Hingham town meeting supported modifying the size of the Weir River Water System’s Citizens Advisory Board to include an additional Hull resident, for a total of two. Hingham will have three representatives and Cohasset one.
The selectmen appointed board member Donna Pursel and Hull’s director of wastewater operations, John Struzziery, to one-year terms on the advisory board, the goal being to continue to appoint two citizens to the board after the first year.
According to the Hingham Advisory Committee, which provided comment about the related warrant article in the Hingham town meeting warrant at that time, given the proportion of connections Hull has to the water system (35 percent to Hingham’s 62 percent and Cohasset’s 2 percent) and feedback from the Hull selectmen, “increasing the representation from Hull is appropriate.”
Establishment of the advisory board is intended to enhance transparency on how water rates are set. Another goal is to provide ratepayers who might have issues with their water service access to local citizens who sit on the advisory board, whose charge is to address those concerns.