Craig Libby carries a pail of sand Jan. 3 from the sand shed in Greene to his pickup truck. Libby said he has a long dirt driveway and he picks up free sand once a week during the winter. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

GREENE — Individuals caught on camera taking more than two buckets of sand from the town’s residential pile have been issued warning letters, Town Manager Darlene Beaulieu told selectmen Monday night.

The town policy was also changed to state that residents can take two five-gallon buckets from the pile at a time. The previous policy allowed two buckets per storm.

The six warning letters were written because of concerns that people are violating the policy governing sand for residential use. A month ago, that entire supply was taken twice from the town shed.

Since then, a Jersey barrier has been placed in front of the pile to prevent vehicles from driving up close, and a camera was installed. The camera has allowed the town manager to identify individuals who take more than two buckets of sand.

Beaulieu said she expects to send more letters once she reviews the recordings further. One of the first to receive a letter was Robert Hack, a resident who criticized the town’s expenditures on security measures for the shed at the last meeting.

In a Facebook post, Hack asked whether any other residents had received the letter, later commenting that he had taken five to six buckets of sand by his estimation for himself and his neighbor, who he said had broken her knee.

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Responses ranged from people defending the town’s enforcement to mocking the time and money spent protecting the sand pile.

Board Chairman Anthony Reny said they’ve seen residents take “some six, eight tubs” of the sand and salt mixture.

Beaulieu said she caught a person filling up the back of their pickup truck.

“It’s sad, because it’s such a minority, it truly is a minority of people that are doing it,” Reny said.

“What they don’t understand is if you go there and take 10, 12 bucket fulls, the next person who comes isn’t going to be able to get any,” Selectman Glenn Chateauvert said.

He suggested the town change its policy from two five-gallon buckets per storm to two five-gallon buckets at a time. The board approved his motion 5-0.

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“People are going to need more than two buckets of sand to do their driveway with, and their walkways,” he said. “Rather than have somebody come up and take six, eight, 10 buckets at once, we’ll get the honest people to come up, take two buckets, bring them home, and come back later to get two more.”

“That way it gives every body a shot at getting some,” he added.

Public Works Foreman Gary Bedford told the board that one cubic yard of sand costs $7.20 and a ton of salt, roughly equivalent to a cubic yard, costs $56. Each day, public works employees add more than $300 worth of sand and salt mixture to the residential use pile, Bedford said.

Beaulieu reached out to other neighboring towns and found that Greene is not the only one dealing with sand use problems.

“Every community is running the same problem,” Reny said. “One community stopped doing it completely.”


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