OTISFIELD — Selectmen have approved a new sand-use policy that allows townspeople to use the available sand/salt mixture at the transfer station at no charge but defines how it can be used.

The policy specifies that users should take only as much as necessary and that it will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. People will have access only to what is not needed for use by the town road crew.

Selectman Rick Micklon said Tuesday that the new policy doesn’t restrict how much sand can be used or for what purpose, but it does better define issues such as how to handle any abuse of the policy.

Micklon said he checked with an attorney at the Maine Municipal Association who advised the town to make sure the policy had enforcement action in it. Micklon said the MMA also advised the town to make sure it had the support of residents.

Although Micklon said he would have preferred the sand/salt mixture not be used for townspeople’s driveways but only on private roads, selectmen Hal Ferguson and Len Adler had argued that residents have always used the mixture for their driveways and should be able to continue that use.

“I don’t want to cut off something that’s not broken,” Ferguson told his fellow board members at a June 24 meeting. Adler said restricting the amount to a 5-gallon bucket would inhibit some users who like to load a few shovelfuls onto the bed of their trucks.

Micklon said the board had no way of determining how much sand/salt mixture was used by townspeople, but selectmen estimated that it may be only $400 or $500 worth.

“I don’t think that it’s been a problem,” Adler said. 

“We don’t know. Unless you police it, how will you ever know?” Micklon said Tuesday.

He said that if the use becomes a problem, the next logical step may be to find a method to determine how much mixture residents are taking.

Selectmen encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact the board or Administrative Assistant Marianne Izzo-Morin. The full policy is available for viewing on the town’s Web site.

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Otisfield Road Commissioner Richard Bean Sr. drives the front-end loader at the town’s transfer station on Station Street. The sand available to the residents is kept in the dome, at left. Sand and sand/salt that is available for the town’s road crew is piled in segregated areas of the facility.

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