PERU — A certified letter sent to the former chairman of the Recreation Committee seeking an accounting of Recreation Department funds has been returned undelivered.

On Monday, selectmen Chairman Jim Pulsifer said he will contact the town’s attorney to determine what legal recourse the town has to obtain enough information to account for the funds.

On Nov. 25, selectmen voted to send Timothy Holland a letter after receiving complaints about how Holland handled the funds.

At the time, Pulsifer said he didn’t think Holland did anything wrong, but the board wanted to ensure Recreation Department spending followed the town’s standard procedures to “pay only on invoices for specific items.”

The certified letter sent to Holland by selectmen was never retrieved from the post office after Holland was notified he had to sign for it, and it was returned to the Town Office.

Selectmen have discussed the Recreation Department funds several times since last June when questions were raised about the expenditure of town funds and public donations by the Recreation Committee. The certified letter was sent as part of the board’s efforts to meet with Holland and examine the committee’s checkbook.

Holland was removed as a selectman in a recall vote in March 2013.

Contacted on Tuesday evening by the Sun Journal, Holland offered no comment regarding the certified letter.

The Recreation Committee does not appear to be functioning any more, selectmen said, and Pulsifer believes all remaining funds should be turned over to the town and the town should seek volunteers for a new committee.

Dawana Kazrigis, a member of Peruvians for Honest Government, is one of the residents who has raised questions about the recreation funds. According to Kazrigis, a member of the committee was reimbursed for paying one bill that had also been paid by the town. She also said that, based on town reports, it appears that funds carried over at the end of one fiscal year were not shown as a beginning balance in the succeeding year.

Pulsifer said that while there was no question that these transactions were not handled properly, it was not the normal policy of former boards to ask for detailed accounting from committees.

Members of Peruvians for Honest Government, who regularly videotape and participate in the weekly selectmen meetings, recently submitted a Freedom of Access Act request for numerous town records. They requested all receipts for expenditures of the Peru Fire Department since 2006, dates of each fire call, a list of responders for every fire call since 2008 and all receipts for operation of the Town Office since 2006, among other documents.

Pulsifer assured the group that it had the right to obtain these documents but that it would take approximately 150 hours for the office staff and would be very expensive. Members of the group offered to assist in complying with the FOAA request to reduce the burden on town employees.

In other business, Selectman Danny Wing recounted an incident at the town sand/salt shed. Traditionally, Peru has permitted residents to get up to two five-gallon buckets of sand from the town supply.

At previous meetings, there were unconfirmed reports of people getting pickup truck loads and using town equipment to load their trucks. There are also reports of commercial plowing and sanding operators taking town sand.

Wing said he was getting buckets of sand for personal use when a pickup truck arrived with remnants of sand in the bed. The driver, who may not have been a resident, filled his truck with town sand.

Wing said the same pickup returned for another load of sand. When he identified himself as a selectman and explained that the limit was two buckets, the driver became belligerent, he said.

Selectmen agreed to contact law enforcement if anyone else is caught taking an excessive amount of sand.

Selectmen will meet with Road Commissioner Joe Roach to determine how to better enforce the rules.

Roach said the town has used more than half of its 2,500 cubic yards of sand.

Selectmen authorized him to purchase another 300 yards or so at the same price the town paid in the fall.

Wing said he visited ARC Enterprises in Kingfield, which is negotiating to purchase the old Diamond Match factory to use for storing rail shipments of steel. Wing said he was impressed by the ARC factory and the size of the bridge girders they fabricated. He said he believes it would be good for the town to have ARC use the Diamond property.


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