Several of you recently questioned how stone dust and other material purchased by taxpayers for the Triangle Park project ended up on the private property of a Triangle committee member last year. Committee Chair Nancy Vargas doesn’t dispute that materials from the project were moved to the neighbor’s yard, but she says the whole incident is a “misunderstanding.”
It’s a long story, and you can read all the details from Vargas herself, but here’s the short version.
An employee of the contractor working on the Triangle was supposed to haul away and dispose of a pile of “trash fill.” Instead, he approached the husband of a committee member, whose property abuts the park, and asked if he wanted to take it to save the hauling costs. “Thinking he was helping the project and the town, he said yes and left for work,” Vargas said. The worker then moved the fill, along with a small pile of stone dust, onto the man’s yard.
When the committee member — the resident’s wife — returned home from work and saw the material in her yard, she contacted the town to have it removed.
In the meantime, a complaint was lodged by another neighbor, prompting the police to investigate the incident. “There was no theft,” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf said this week. “It was thoroughly investigated by the police department.”
Vargas acknowledged that moving the material to the neighbor’s yard was a mistake, but said all parties were trying to save the town money by not having to remove and dispose of the material.
“It is irrational to suppose that these people (the committee member and her husband) have sacrificed continuously over the past eight years in order to ‘steal’ less than $75 worth of building materials at the end of the project,” Vargas said. “Our police department has done all they can to investigate the matter thoroughly and no wrongdoing was found. That should have been the end of it – last year.”