TURNER — Selectmen were told Tuesday night that buying tickets to get pails of sand at the Transfer Station is inconvenient and paying $2 per bucket is unfair.

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 on Jan. 4 to adopt rules governing when and how sand can be obtained by residents. They are:

* Residents can get sand Fridays and Saturdays at the Transfer Station, beginning Saturday, Jan. 9, for $2 per bucket.

* Residents will be limited to two, five-gallon buckets per day. No other containers may be used.

* Residents must purchase a ticket for each bucket, to be turned in to the attendant at the time of pickup. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Town Office only, beginning Thursday, Jan. 7. Tickets will not be sold at the Transfer Station.

The new system is “inconvenient,” resident Rick Bowen of County Road said.

Selectman Dennis Richardson said the fee is to manage the service and prevent abuse.

Bowen said those manning the Transfer Station should be able to monitor the sand pile to prevent unauthorized people from taking it and prevent people taking more than allowed.

Resident Mike Alexander of Snell Hill Road and Bowen agreed that those abusing the service should be held accountable. Alexander suggested writing down the license plate numbers of violators for follow-up by law enforcement.

“How can you make us pay for sand when we’ve already paid for it with our taxes?” Alexander asked. 

“It’s not a money-making scheme,” Selectman Ralph Caldwell said.

Town Manager Kurt Schaub asked residents for their patience, and the board admitted it may be a temporary measure.

Several members of the Budget Committee attended the meeting, including Chairperson Rodney Shaw, who described last year’s budget process as difficult because selectmen made drastic last-minute cuts to the committee’s recommendations.

Shaw said members “felt undermined” and warned that if it happened again “there will probably be a mass resignation.”

“We have a great Budget Committee,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Kurt Youland said. The last-minute changes were not planned, but were because of misquoted numbers, he said.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee reviewed the 2016 administrative budget and agreed to increase salaries by 2 percent and keep employee flex benefits the same as in 2015.

Three board members agreed to attend the next Budget Committee meeting Feb. 2.

In other business, School Administrative District 52 Superintendent Henry Aliberti Jr. asked selectmen to have residents involved in the search for his replacement. He is retiring this month. The board chose Selectman Kevin Nichols to be its representative on the Search Committee, Caldwell said.

Also Tuesday, Town Manager Kurt Schaub proposed having a code enforcement officer for three days per week at $25 an hour without benefits and $20 an hour with benefits. Another option is sharing an officer with another town.

Code Enforcement Officer Roger Williams has announced he plans to retire in June.

The annual town meeting is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Boofy Quimby Memorial Center in North Turner. Among the items being considered for the warrant are:

• An ordinance regulating used car dealerships or a six-month moratorium on such businesses until an ordinance is approved.

• A change to increase the number of buildings allowed on a dead-end street from 15 to 30. 

Assessor Dennis Berube presented two options for property revaluation: inspect the interior and exterior of homes for $275,400; or inspect the exterior only for $206,550. 

Municipalities are required to assess one quarter of properties annually. 

Both options could be executed incrementally, with a completion date in 2018 or 2019. Turner’s capital reserve account, set aside for such a project, has a balance of $47,000.

The deadline for paying overdue taxes is Feb. 1.


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