HERMON — The Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have Town Manager Steve Tuckerman devise a system restricting the private use of town sand to a 5-gallon bucketful per snowstorm.
Tuckerman said Wednesday that residents have been abusing the long-standing practice in which they have been allowed free access to the sand stored behind the town office.
According to the town manager, the original idea was to have people “grab a 5-gallon bucket [of sand] for their walk.” But this winter, they “have been taking pickup trucks full and coming back for more.” Moreover, he said, when residents discovered that the pile in back of the town office was depleted, they began taking sand directly from the sand-salt shed on the Fuller Road.
As a result of the filching, the town has lost at least 200 cubic yards of sand and the supply is “severely depleted,” Tuckerman said.
He said one option may be to have people get permission from the town office to take sand in limited amounts from the recycling center, which would be open only during office hours.
“If we come up with a system and it continues to be abused, [the practice] will be discontinued totally,” Tuckerman said.
Meanwhile, plow truck drivers have been equipped with remote control devices so that only they can open the doors to the sand-salt shed, Tuckerman said.
He said a public hearing will be held Wednesday, Jan. 21, to call a special town meeting Feb. 4 so residents can vote to allot $30,000 to pay for more sand and for cleanup from the ice storm.