MEXICO — Selectmen decided Tuesday to limit the hours that town sand will be available to residents, in part, because neighboring Peru will close its supply to its residents starting Feb. 1.

The decision followed news that Peru selectmen decided Monday to stop providing sand to residents next month because people with large trucks and nonresidents are taking so much of it. Peru has allowed residents to take up to two five-gallon buckets per storm for their walkways, but not driveways.

Board Chairman Richie Philbrick said they are expecting an influx of people seeking the sand following the action in Peru.

“Are we going to be getting other people coming up here getting our stuff?” he asked. “Nothing against people from other towns, but we’ve got to look out for our citizens.”

Town Manager Jack Gaudet said instead of being open 24/7, the gates will be closed from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays and all weekend.

Selectman Reggie Arsenault said Highway Department foreman John Blais began shutting the gates after work Tuesday.

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Gaudet said he has seen people go there with a 55-gallon trash can and get sand.

He said they will monitor the sand supply more closely, but after a big snowstorm, they may consider keeping the gates open a bit longer for residents.

In other business, Philbrick said the Fire Department will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 7 to nominate a new chief. That person will be presented to the Board of Selectmen for approval at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

Regarding Sunday’s funeral service for Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzell, Philbrick said members of the Fire Department work as a team.

“When they said (on the town message sign) ‘We got it from here, chief,’ they did,” he said. “You guys did an excellent job. It was a good tribute to the chief. He worked for many dedicated years. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to help us out.”

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