Two residents of Pleasant Street expressed concern at a selectmen’s meeting Wednesday, Dec. 18 about the amount of salt Damariscotta’s snowplowing contractor is using.
Jenny Begin and Cynthia Sherman, of Pleasant Street, said they are worried about contamination of their hand-dug wells from the salt.
Town Manager Matt Lutkus said the town follows Maine Department of Transportation guidelines for how much salt to use on local roads.
“I believe that the approach that the town uses and that we have outlined in our contract is the correct approach, when it comes to the amount of salt we use,” Lutkus said.
Road Commissioner Hugh Priebe and Hagar Enterprises Inc. co-owner Seth Hagar addressed the residents’ concerns and explained the town’s processes for winter road maintenance.
Hagar Enterprises Inc., of Damariscotta, is the town’s snowplowing contractor.
Hagar said the way the town approaches winter road maintenance has changed a lot over the past 10 years and has taken advantage of some new technologies.
Priebe expanded on some of the new technology.
“He’s got ground speed control on his trucks, so as he’s driving along, he’s putting it down at the proper rate, no matter how fast or slow he goes. So we’re applying the salt to our roads correctly,” Priebe said.
Priebe said that since Pleasant Street is a dead-end, when a truck turns around at the end of the road, it does leave a small pile of salt. He said drivers have reduced the amount of salt on Pleasant Street by going faster and dropping the chute as low as it can go.
Sherman suggested that the salt truck drop salt on the way down Pleasant Street, but not on the way back, in order to reduce the amount.
Hagar said he would have his crew try this approach, barring any complaints from other residents about too little salt.
“I’ll do everything I can to minimize as much as we can at the end of the street for you, to the best of our ability,” Hagar said.