Recently the television news reported that a western Maine town had closed its sand pile to all residents of the town because of misuse and the high usage this winter.

We almost all have cars or trucks, for which towns collect excise tax from us. According to Maine Revenue Services, “The town that collects the excise tax can use it as revenue toward the annual town budget. Typically, the revenue is spent on local road maintenance, construction and repair.” Yet these same towns say “their sand” is for our use only a couple of buckets at a time.

Each fall, I fill four barrels from a local gravel pit with sand and salt I purchase. And for almost 40 years that has been enough to keep my driveway safe. This year, however, my barrels are empty and local pits are closed for the season. My wheelchair and lift van makes ice a huge safety issue.

Everyone realizes budgets are tight, but between excise tax and property tax, we own that town sand pile, within reason. Towns should allow their residents to use what they need, especially when we have such an awful winter like we have had this winter. Towns should use reason and common sense when it comes to our sand pile and safety.

Some of us did plan ahead, but we ran out just like many towns.

Donald SimoneauFayette

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