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October 15. 2013 10:13PM

Auburn to conduct testing at landfill

AUBURN — The eagerly anticipated dig to determine if illegal dumping has been taking place at the old landfill off Raymond Road will begin Monday.

Also, borings will be performed at Eaton Hill Road Friday to obtain testing samples to determine if reports that the road was paved using hazardous materials are founded.

Police have been investigating the dumping and paving claims, along with the possible involvement of Road Agent Mike Dross, since a tip came in several months ago.

Select Board Chairman Russell Sullivan said that despite an inherent interest in what is buried at the site, he and his fellow selectmen will not attend the dig or boring.

“While I am very curious as to what is actually there, we will not be attending. The reason is we want to avoid any semblance of a conflict of interest in case we have to act based upon what is found,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan added that results on the on Eaton Hill Road borings will not come for a couple of weeks. Testing will be performed on the samples by an outside lab to determine its composition.

Work on paving Eaton Hill Road was completed in 2007. Dross has been road agent since 2006.

Town Administrator Bill Herman said that he also will not attend Monday’s dig.

He added that while he has no concern that (the town’s engineering firm, Stantec Consulting Services) might find something, and added that he would not speculate if anything is there.

Police officials previously said they are investigating the possibility that the dumping was performed by or under the supervision of Dross, who has been described as being uncooperative by police during a police commissioners meeting.

Dross has repeatedly refused comment, citing legal counsel’s advice.

Sullivan added that police have asked for help from the County Attorney’s Office in the investigation.

“If anything is found (at the old landfill), it will be removed and disposed of, and any internal investigation would be up to the board of selectmen,” Herman said.

Sullivan has said previously that no internal investigation into Dross is merited. But that could change.

According to town officials, before the dig can begin the site must be dewatered — moisture removed from the soil, which will start Friday and last through the weekend. Once the site is ready, the plan will be to dig until dumped material is found or soil is reached. Police officials previously said that the alleged dumping is believed to have been performed at roughly 16 feet beneath the surface.

The estimated cost is $4,500 for the landfill dig and $5,000 for the Eaton Road testing.

bklein@newstote.com


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