Virginia Occupational Safety and Health made a surprise visit to our Public Works department on Wednesday and found a few minor issues. Town Manager Larry addressed those issues as well as our July 4th:
Two OSHA inspectors went to the public works shed yesterday later afternoon for an unscheduled inspection. While our shortcoming are minor and relatively easy to fix I don’t know if the town will be fined, or required to develop a formal mitigation plan, or both. Here’s the list of our shortcomings: the vehicle lift did not have an annual inspection; the kill switch on the riding mower seat does not cut off when the rider gets off the seat (in plain English that means the blade still spins should the rider fall off the mower and wind up under it); certain cleaning solvents and other shop chemicals are frequently distributed to smaller container from the large container they are shipped in, those large containers have labels stating the storage and handling information, but the smaller transfer bottles do not and so that related safety information is not present on all the containers containing the potentially harmful chemical.
Known result: mower is now under lock and key and no one is using it until the kill switch is repaired; the smaller bottles are labeled with the correct Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS); the vehicle lift is not being used until a hydraulics inspector can inspect it.
I put a call into the Virginia department of labor office in Norfolk this afternoon to discuss the matter and the town should be receiving a preliminary report via email by close of business tomorrow (Friday July 19). When received the report will be attached to next week’s weekly staff activity report as part of the public record.
Working meeting with VDHR staff Monday July 15, 2019
On Monday July 15, 2019 staff, Councilwoman Burge, the chair and vice chair of the HDRB met with Ms. Elizabeth Lipford and Ms. Aubrey von Lindern (certified local government co-ordinator for Virginia) of the VDHR to discuss some issues related to the historic district design guidelines among other thing. The meeting was educational and encouraging. The town is doing a number of things well and the guidelines have strong points. As I did in January of this year, I asked Ms. Von Lindern about the recurring rumor that the town is in danger of loosing its historic district designation. As she stated in January, she reconfirmed that the town is in no such danger, never has been, and continues to have an effective relationship with VDHR. To that end staff received email last week of a grant award of approximately $5,560 dollars toward HDRB professional development via a program with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.
Yes, it was crowded. Yes, parking was difficult to find after a certain time of morning. Yes, the law was enforced, and we have the messages and emails from people ticketed for a variety of offences complaining about such enforcement and declaring they will not return to Cape Charles. I personally wrote a letter of violation to residential squatters on the north side of town, and intervened on golf cart usage and parking. Chief Pruitt has more information so I defer to him for that.