Marion Board of Health discusses parking lots, retirements, masks

Apr 21, 2020

MARION — The Board of Health discussed how to reopen Silvershell Beach parking lot after May 4, hiring a new Health Director, and recommended businesses use masks at a virtual meeting on April 21.

Following the state’s stay-at-home order, board members decided to close the parking lot of the beach due to overcrowding, but wanted to remind residents that the beach is not closed and they are free to park on the street and walk in.

Town Administrator Jay McGrail said he had a number of conversations with the town’s Emergency Management Team who agreed to keep the beach and lot as is until May 4 and work out a plan to reopen after then.

The board discussed ways to make a socially responsible parking lot by various methods such as limiting capacity with sawhorses or enforcing an odds and evens license plates system for entrance to the lot. All ideas were informally discussed and nothing was voted on.

Member Dot Brown said that it’s “unrealistic” to even talk about the future of a soft opening of the beach after May 4 if the town doesn’t know what the state is going to do. 

May 4 is also near the time that the town docks will open for the season, and the board said Harbormaster Issac Perry will explore options for opening them with members between now and the next meeting on May 5 and present his findings then. 

The town will also recommend that all businesses that are still open should have employees wear masks. 

Health Director Karen Walega is retiring next week. Following a vote by the board, McGrail said that he would post Walega’s job. All hours and salary details will remain the same.