PERU — The company that installed cameras at the town sandbox is looking into why Town Office employees cannot access recorded footage from the office computers, Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Carol Roach said this week.

Roach said the cameras installed by E W Electric of Dixfield at the town garage allowed for a live feed to be viewed at the Town Office.

However, secretary Stephanie Woods told the board that while the town could view the live feed at the Town Office, if she wanted to rewind the tape and review something that happened previously, she would have to “go down to the town garage and get the video footage.”

“Right now, E W is trying to figure out why we can’t access the playback feed from the Town Office,” Woods said.

Roach said Monday that until the company can figure out the problem, it agreed to buy a new monitor that would stay in the garage at no additional cost.

Selectman John Witherell expressed frustration that there was no way to play back the footage from the Town Office.


“That was the whole plan in the first place, being able to view the footage at the Town Office,” he said. “If we have to go down to the town garage to get the footage, that’s extra work.”

Witherell said he wanted regular updates from E W Electric on its investigation into the playback feed.

Woods said she would speak with the company to see where it is in its investigation.

The cameras were installed Feb. 15 to monitor who is taking sand.

The issue arose after Road Commissioner Lee Merrill told selectmen on Jan. 16 that he was planning to shut down the sandbox as of Feb. 1 because people, some of them nonresidents, were taking more sand than allowed. He said he was concerned that the town would run out of sand before the end of winter.

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


However, the board later told Merrill that he did not have the authority to close the sandbox to the public, and instead the board voted to buy more sand and to install video cameras using money from the road operations budget.

Merrill’s attorney sent a letter stating that “infringement of (Merrill’s) authority would be legally actionable if you proceed with the purchase (of the security cameras).”

Town attorney Amanda Meader told the board an ordinance granted them authority to spend money from the road budget.

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