Sumner sand and salt problems piling up


By Amanda Johnson


SUMNER— With all of the rain that Sumner has been having, sand that has been placed on the road to thaw ice has flowed to the edges of some of the roads in town and has caused residents concern.

At the Selectboard’s Jan. 14 meeting, resident Tom Standard brought up the issue of roads in town to the selectmen.

Standard told the board that a neighbor had contacted him last Saturday during the ice storm that shrouded Maine in rain and sleet. He told the board that the individual was stuck on Fields Hill Road, and that the individual said that it wasn’t until two hours later that sand trucks came to sand the road.

Selectman Walter Litchfield interjected.

‘This storm was an abnormal storm for Maine,’ Litchfield began. ‘I can’t remember other than the ice storm, as bad an event as that was in a short period in time.’ He told Standard that many of the roads in Oxford County were closed because of it.

Litchfield confirmed that sand trucks had gone out during the storm, but a few hours after sanding, he said the roads looked as if they had never even been sanded because it had washed away. Resident Theodore Dawicki added that sand on Redding Road and Abbott Pond Road has also been washed out to the sides of the road and now is piled several inches high. ‘It was that bad,’ Litchfield said about Saturday’s storm. Town Clerk Susan Runes informed the board of the current state of the town’s salt inventory. ‘As of last week we had purchased 347 tons,’ said Runes. ‘That’s more salt than we’ve used the past several years total.’

Another 31 tons have been ordered, Runes continued. She confirmed that the town’s budget still has room in it to purchase more salt if needed. She said that if the town would need to purchase salt that would overthrow its current road budget, it would need to be taken out to a Town Meeting. ‘We’re doing pretty well financially, solid footing,’ she said.