LIVERMORE FALLS — Complaints about use of the sand pile by nonresidents have raised questions again.
The issue is brought up every year. It was brought up again Monday and selectmen will try to deal with it in an appropriate manner that still allows Livermore Falls residents to get sand from the sand/salt pile but maybe not at the Highway Department Garage on Park Street.
One issue brought to light, after a resident asked about rules to the sand pile and said he saw some people from out of town taking sand from the pile, is safety.
The town's plow trucks are constantly backing into the small area to be loaded with sand and residents are either right behind them waiting or trying to get sand at the same time, highway foreman Bill Nichols said.
There is a dual problem here, Selectman Louise Chabot said. There is an issue of safety and liability and town residents getting the sand.
Residents have been told there is no way to police who is taking the sand, unless the police constantly watch the pile, board Chairman Bill Demaray said.
They would have to ask each vehicle operator to possibly show proof of residency, he said.
Police have kicked people out who are not supposed to be taking sand when they catch them, Nichols said.
Demaray said sometimes people from out of town come and get the sand to put on a family member's driveway in town.
It was suggested the pile for the public's use be put at the transfer station on Diamond Road.
Nichols said he would like to have it there.
“It would make me some happy. It would save me a lot of headaches,” Nichols said.
The transfer station is only open three days a week, Demaray said, and he questions what would happen if it is icy on a day it is not open. Livermore has its sand pile at the transfer station, he said.
“People should plan ahead,” Chabot said.
Residents have been allowed to take four buckets of sand in the past or to put that amount in the back of a pickup truck.
There has also been suggestions that poles be put up with a chain to prevent trucks and other vehicles from pulling up to the pile after hours, but leave room for residents to go in and fill their five-gallon pails. It was also suggested that maybe a large container of sand could be put out so people could get sand there instead of from the stockpile.
Nichols expects the town will be required to construct a building to hold the sand rather than have it outside within the next five years. The only space there is room, Nichols said, would be at the transfer station.
Selectmen said they would discuss the matter again at their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the town office.
It has also been discussed in the past that the most reasonable way to handle sand is to budget for the amount of sand normally used and try to keep the best account of it.
Ultimately, the price of sand is a lot less than paying someone to watch the pile, former Town Manager Jim Chaousis said in 2010.