OTISFIELD—For many towns in Maine, sand has been in short supply with all of this year’s treacherous weather. Otisfield has felt the same freezing sting of sand quickly running out during a winter that feels like it will never end.
Sand and salt is made available for the people of Otisfield, and residents have been taking from the piles for sanding their driveways, sidewalks, etc.
Selectman Lenny Adler said that he was suggesting that the town build a shed for sand and salt storage so that when sand is being loaded, residents can freely take sand.
“People were lined up,” said Selectman Rick Micklon about how many people needed sand during the last big storm.
Micklon also added that he heard rumors that a discussion was going around on social media websites that the reason why the town was running low on sand was because residents kept taking the sand/salt mixture, or contractors who are using it for driveways, sidewalks or private roads.
Micklon guessed that the person who may have started the discussion about the sand and salt issue may not have been aware of the town’s policy on sand and salt use.
“The policy is, if you live in Otisfield and you pay taxes in Otisfield, we make that sand/salt mixture available to you,” he clarified. “Including contractors who put it on private driveways and roads.”
Micklon was told that Otisfield residents have been using more sand and salt this year than they have since the ice storm of 1998.
Adler said that he was told by Road Commissioner Richard Bean that the rain and ice storm that hit Maine two weekends ago was the worst day he had ever gone out to clear the roads.
“He said even the ice storm of ’98, the ice was crunchy and would break, but this [storm] was just like driving in a bottle,” said Adler.
Roads conditions had gotten so bad, plow trucks have had to sand backwards, having to drive on the sand they have already put down. This was so that the sand trucks themselves wouldn’t go off the road while sanding.