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Auburn investigating claim of hazardous materials usage in paving

AUBURN — Auburn police and town officials are investigating a claim that Eaton Hill Road was paved about six years ago using hazardous materials from an old incinerator while under the supervision of current Road Agent Mike Dross.

Dross, town Road Agent since 2006, is also under police investigation for allegations of illegal dumping at the old landfill off Raymond Road. To verify that Eaton Hill Road has hazardous material in it and that the old landfill was used as a recent dumping ground, selectmen on Monday night unanimously authorized Stantec Consulting Services, contracted as the town’s engineering firm, to perform tests at both sites within the next two weeks, costing about $10,000.

“It is distressing for me to have to spend money to figure out this stuff, it distracts us from being productive. Even though it isn’t a lot of money at this point, it is still money that could be put towards other things,” Select Board Chair Russell Sullivan said.

Police officials say that the initial report about Eaton Hill Road indicates that sand and ash from an old incinerator at the old landfill was used as material for the paving of the road. Dross, who keeps heavy machinery at the old landfill, has previously described the landfill as being his responsibility.

Dross said that he has obtained a lawyer and has been advised not to comment.

Town and police officials said they do not know for now of any potential health risks from the road.

“Once we get the test results back, we will go from there and take any appropriate steps to mitigate any health concerns. We’re just trying to do the appropriate thing,” select board executive assistant Kate Skoglund said.

While town officials said that the Eaton Hill Road paving project might have began under previous Road Agent Emerson Heald in 2005, police officials said that the area they are investigating was worked on during Dross’ tenure. According to town officials, paving was completed in 2007.

Heald said he was in no way involved.

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