Milford administrator: Town is not selling loam from Brox

MILFORD – The recent delivery of a truckload of loam from the Brox land to private property in Hollis involved a routine arrangement with the company hired to move earth materials at Brox, town officials said.

Suzanne Fournier, of Brox Environmental Citizens, questioned the removal, because voters turned down a warrant article that would have allowed the “sale or disposition” of earth materials from Brox.

“We are not in the business of selling loam out of Brox,” Town Administrator Mark Bender said Monday.

Steve Trombly Excavating, of Milford, is helping the Department of Public Works screen loam for the town, taking material from around the gravel pit, he said, and the company needed a load of loam.

“Rather than pull his equipment out, we just loaned him one load … it was strictly a matter of convenience for him and for the town,” Bender said, adding that Trombly will replace the loam.

Fournier said she was checking vernal pools at Brox on June 5 when she noticed a commercial truck being filled with loam. She followed it to Hollis, where it was delivered to private property.

The town is allowed to use Brox for town purposes but not to sell, and the Department of Public Works screens earth materials for use in town cemeteries and parks, as well as to produce sand for winter road maintenance.

“The screening and processing operations have always been done with local contractors … to produce valuable material at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayers. The town plans for this every year within its budget process and this has been discussed many times in the yearly updates” to the Board of Selectmen, DPW Director Rick Riendeux wrote in an email to Fournier.

Fournier said she has requested the paperwork on the town’s contract with Trombly.

In 2014 and 2015, voters declined to give the town the authority to sell earth materials from Brox.

Selectmen said selling the materials would provide badly needed revenue.

Brox Environmental Citizens had lobbied against the articles, saying they would allow a commercial mining operation.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or
kcleveland@cabinet.com.