The ice this winter has left many Mainers in a slippery situation when it comes to sanding and salting roads and walkways.
“I think most towns are probably in a pinch about now,” says garland resident Jim Bradley. “We even bought some and then the store ran out. They ran out of their supply for a week or two there.”
For years Garland has left a pile of salt out for residents to use but it seems that this winter people are coming in and taking more than necessary.
“People have been backing in and taking pick up loads,” says Frank Scott, who is one of two employees responsible for the Garland roads. “Two or three loads in one day with one truck.”
Garland Selectman Tim Hallam is working to combat the unauthorized pickup of supply.
“To have people come and take the resources from us in excess of truck loads, three or four a storm when they know the trucks are out is ridiculous. We put cameras up so we could take pictures for the violators and I will seek prosecution.”
Unfortunately signs to stay out of the quonset hut with the main supply have been continually ignored.
“Take what you need, not in excess,” Hallam continues.
People have been driving up and loading sand into the back of their trucks. It depletes the community supply, but its also dangerous for the person taking the sand.
“Sand comes down so quick it could bury anybody out there – we’d rather have them taking sand out of the pile out there.”
The total supply doesn’t come cheap.
“It’s costly. Time to get it out here, price of fuel.”
And it’s the taxpayers who are getting hit the hardest.
“The way I look at it, they’re already getting double-dipped here,” Hallam explains. “They’re not only asking for their roads to get taken care of, but they’re also getting stolen from. I’m not going to hit them a third time.
The measures taken to prevent theft will hopefully help maintain the supply, but with unpredictable weather there is still some concern for the rest of the season.
“A winter like this, I’m afraid most of its going to be gone.”