An Important Message from the Town of Scituate

Due to the ever changing COVID-19 landscape, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all Town of Scituate buildings will be closed to the public. This is being done to promote the concept of "social distancing" by reducing the number of in-person interactions that each of us has with each other every day. Reducing those interactions helps to reduce the chances of spreading and transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The staff at all town facilities will continue to perform their duties and be present to assist you via telephone or e-mail during normal business hours.

Residents and others will be able to pay bills by check or money order by placing the bills, along with the checks and/or money orders, in an envelope and dropping them in a mail slot. The slot is located on the main doors at the right end of the Town Hall as you look at the building. In addition, payments can be made via the Town's website (visit http://www.scituatema.gov/.  Click on "Online Services" - both credit cards and EFTs (using your checking account) can be used). If your only option is cash and you cannot get a money order, please contact the Treasurer-Collector's Office at (781) 545-8718 to make arrangements for a cash payment.

If you are looking for copies of documents such as birth certificates, septic system plans, assessor records, etc., call the appropriate office and the staff will work out a method for you to obtain the necessary documents.

If you are looking for information, whether general or specific, contact that department and the employees will provide that information using a variety of methods. If you are unsure who to contact, call the Selectmen’s Office at 781-545-8740.

All questions specifically about COVID-19,  can be addressed by following the link to the Mass Department of Public Health on the Town’s website, or contact the Scituate Health Department at 781-545-8725.

If you need to file documents, or applications for permits, please contact the proper department and a solution will be worked out to make that happen.

The exception to the list above is that Town Hall will be open to the public for board and committee meetings when they occur. Most meetings will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room in the Town Hall where the larger space affords some ability to provide more physical distance between attendees. The Town does have the capability of broadcasting meetings "live" and we will continue to broadcast meetings to the extent possible. In addition, we have to allow for public participation in meetings involving public hearings. The Town is in the process of establishing a process to allow public participation remotely. We will make that information available when we have it. In the meantime, all public meetings that do not have agenda items of an immediate or urgent nature will be postponed for the foreseeable future.

As the days go by, additional decisions on how to conduct the Town's operations will be made as the situation evolves. The hope is that residents and others will work with the Town to facilitate these changes. The Town wants to continue to provide the services that residents and others expect during this unprecedented period in our community.

What are We Doing:

Several weeks ago, we established a Town working group to begin to address how the Coronavirus may impact Scituate.  Our team includes, Public Health Director Drew Scheele, Public Health Nurse Eileen Scotti, Police Chief Mike Stewart, Deputy Police Chief Mark Thompson, Fire Chief John Murphy, Deputy Fire Chief Al Elliot, Superintendent of Schools Ron Griffin, Facilities Manager Kevin Kelly, DPW Superintendent Kevin Cafferty, HR Director Bob Clark, Finance Director Nancy Holt, Building Inspector Bob Vogel and Town Administrator Jim Boudreau.

Our Team is in daily contact with a various state and federal agencies.  Below is a brief summary of our major activities to date:

Board of Health

  • Our Board of Health Director Scheele and Public Health Nurse Scotti are in constant contact with the Mass State Department of Public Health (MADPH) to receive the latest advisories and information specific to Scituate
  • Staff is providing guidance to Town departments and agencies regarding appropriate protocols and actions and actively monitoring the Town for any instance of the virus
  • Staff has received guidance from MADPH on assessing individuals and determining risk levels
  • When there are individuals that are in self quarantine Board of Health staff will have the responsibility for contact and counseling 

Public Safety

  • Chief Stewart and Chief Murphy and their staffs are deploying new protocols on how to serve residents that may have the virus
  • The Chiefs are focusing on how to keep our Police Officers and Firefighters safe while assisting residents that could be infected
  • Contingency plans are being drawn to maintain a superior response rate if staffing is diminished because a police officer or paramedic is quarantined due to contact with someone who does not advise them of their situation

School Department

  • School Superintendent Griffin and staff are working closely with all Town agencies to monitor the school system and plan for adjustments to operations if need be
  • Daily cleaning has been increased, sanitizers and other proactive measures are in place
  • Communicating and receiving relevant information from the Mass Department of Secondary Education. School staff is staying in close contact with counterparts in other communities to coordinate a regional response
  • The schools are making plans to provide lunches to those students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches. This plan will be communicated by the School Department shortly

Council on Aging

  • Council on Aging Director Hayes and staff are in communication with the MA Department of Elder Affairs and South Shore Elder Services as well as other area Directors to monitor the situation and plan for service changes as needed
  • Provisions are being made to provide necessary transportation to seniors for medications, critical doctor’s appointments and groceries
  • Meals on wheels will continue to be supplied

Water Department

  • Questions have been raised if the Corona Virus can be conveyed by drinking water. The CDC has stated that conventional drinking water treatment kills the virus and tap water is not a mode of transmission. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
  • The Town has a limited amount of employees in the Water Department that make and distribute drinking water to the Town for fire protection and public safety. As such we will be limiting the exposure of these employees to the Public so that the water supply operations continue to be staffed to supply the Town with drinking water.
    • Water Department Offices are closed to the Public. Water Department Staff are available by phone to assist residents at 781.545.8735
    • All water shut offs or turn on are cancelled until further notice
    • Meter Replacements and Reading Appointments will be cancelled until further notice.
    • The Town of Scituate DPW is a member of Plymouth County Water Works, W.A.R.N which is Massachusetts Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network, and is part of the State Mutual Aide Program
    • Please keep water conservation in mind as it limits the demands of our water resources.

Transfer Station

  • Take it or Leave it is closed until further notice.
  • Redeemable bottles and cans charitable drop off will be closed until further notice. Redeemable plastic and metal bottles and cans shall be disposed of in the comingled recycle bin. All glass redeemable bottles shall be disposed of in the glass recycle bin.
  • Charitable donation solicitation will no longer be allowed until further notice.
  • When disposing of your recyclables please do not linger at the disposal areas.
  • Please limit transactions at the Transfer Station Booth as much as possible.
  • Please remember if you need to renew your sticker that it can be done online. If you need help or have special circumstances please contact us at 781.545.8732.

In addition to these examples many other staff members from other Departments are working on how best provide services and to plan for any disruptions that most likely will occur. Although Town Departments are closed to the public, employees are working to continue to serve the residents of Scituate.

Sincerely.

Scituate Board of Selectmen

Scituate Town Administrator