NEW GLOUCESTER — Fire and Rescue Chief Toby Martin told selectmen Monday evening that a series of loud explosions heard in several areas of town Saturday night was caused by a chemical mix often used in movie stunts.

Jean Libby receives the Citizen Planner Award by the New England Chapter of the American Planning Association from New Gloucester Town Planner Scott Hastings on Monday. Ellie Fellers photo

From 30 to 50 residents called 911 to report loud explosions on Penny, Gloucester Hill, Morse and Woodman roads. He said the cause was tannerite, a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder generally used during long-arm rifle discharges at shooting ranges.

“When mixed, you can legally possess five pounds of the mixture,” Martin said. “The chemical is often used for stunts in movies. Anyone can buy it off the shelf.”

The person or persons using the chemical and their purpose and location were not mentioned.

In other business, Town Planner Scott Hastings presented Jean Libby with the Citizen Planner Award from the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association. It marks the second award recognizing her commitment to town planning over several decades. She was chairwoman of the Planning Board for many years and has been a member of the Capital Improvement Planning Committee and the Land Use Management Committee.

In another matter, a request from the recreation director for renovations at the Community Building was withdrawn because it should have come from the Buildings and Grounds Department, which has authority over the former fire station.

The board also reviewed bids for the Stevens Brook culvert/dam proposals. Shaw Brothers of Gorham offered to do the work for $749,750. Gordon Contracting Inc. of Sangerville offered $872,170.

Selectmen said dredging and reconstructing the dam, a popular fishing spot for children in Lower Gloucester, is underbudgeted.


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