PERU — Security cameras were installed at the town sandbox at 85 Peru Center Road on Wednesday morning to monitor who is taking sand and how much.

Road Commissioner Lee Merrill told selectmen Jan. 16 that he would shut down the community sandbox as of Feb. 1, mostly because people were taking more than allowed and some were not residents. He said he was concerned the town would run out of sand before the end of winter.

The limit, posted at the sand box, is two five-gallon buckets per resident per storm.

“The sand is supposed to be for walkways, not driveways,” Merrill said at the time.

Selectmen decided a week later that Merrill did not have the authority to close the sandbox to the public and voted to buy more sand and to install video cameras. The money would come from the road operations budget.

Chairwoman Carol Roach later received a letter from Merrill’s attorney that read, “I caution you that the infringement of (Merrill’s) authority would be legally actionable if you intend to proceed with the purchase (of the security cameras).”


However, selectmen moved forward with the purchase after conferring with attorney Amanda Meader, who assisted them in finding an ordinance that granted them authority to spend money from the road budget.

Another $700 will come from that budget to compensate Brian Knox, who has been plowing Knox Road this winter.

After a confrontation between Knox’s father, Roger, and Merrill, the town stopped plowing Knox Road at Merrill’s instruction. Brian Knox recently submitted a bill for $900 to the town for his plowing services, reminding them that Knox Road is the town’s responsibility to maintain.

In other business, Fire Chief Bill Hussey attended Tuesday night’s selectmen meeting to request another $25,000 for the new Worthley Pond fire station.

The selectmen plan to meet Thursday night to continue discussion of the fire station budget.

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