Mohawk lifts moratorium on buying sand

MOHAWK-Town officials lifted a moratorium Thursday on the purchase of sand for the Highway Department, despite misgivings from a member of the Town Board.

Highway Superintendent William Holvig said he hoped to purchase about 5,000 yards of sand to use to grit the roads, saying this year has required a lot of plowing due to the frequent small snowstorms. Holvig said the department currently has 2,000 yards.

A moratorium on purchasing sand that was put in place in 2012, due to the depletion of sand, was rescinded.

Town councilman Tony Bruno did not see the need for the purchase, saying that between budgetary concerns and how it would look to the town’s residents, he was unsure if they should vote on it.

Bruno said he had received complaints from town residents that sand was being wasted. According to Bruno, he has been approached by residents who claimed they would see the road sanded, then plowed off by another town truck.

Holvig said something like that was a simple mistake, noting it was difficult to maintain constant communication while plowing and sanding the roads.

Secondly, Bruno said the department already has a large sand pile in its yard, and he questioned the department’s the need for more.

According to Holvig, a lot of what is seen is a mandatory sand ramp to access the road sand.

This led to a heated discussion between the two.

“You are not responsible [for the town roads], I am,” Holvig said.

“I think we are all responsible,” Bruno replied.

Bruno said that he was concerned about the budget.

“This resolution doesn’t mean anything, you already passed the budget,” Holvig said.

“Everyone has a different perception of the situation,” Councilwoman Bette Papa said.

Councilman Bruce Pavlus advocated buying 5,000 yards of sand to start the season. Holvig said the sand would be brought in sometime in March.

The council voted in favor of lifting the moratorium, but there was talk of reinstituting it at a later date.

According to Holvig, sand costs $5 per ton, and a cubic yard weighs 1.5 tons. The cost for 5,000 tons would be about $37,500, while 4,000 tons would be $30,000.

Arthur Cleveland is the Montgomery County Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected].

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