The Block Island Times

Town officials 'offended' by debris in dunes

Now cleaned up
By Stephanie Turaj | Apr 24, 2013

Debris that was reported by a town resident in the dunes near Ballard’s Beach last week, and was the subject of an incident report issued by the town, has been cleaned up and placed in the dumpsters at Ballard’s, according to Police Chief Vin Carlone.

According to an April 9 incident report issued by Town Building Official Marc Tillson, the material consisted of “wood snow fencing, plastic pallets, old lifeguard stands, plywood and other debris.” The material was found on Land Trust property. Ballard’s Inn has an easement through the property.

“It [the material] appears to have been there for sometime,” Chief Carlone said at the Town Council meeting on April 17. “It’s actually not known exactly when that was left there.”

The building official incident report said that a witness saw “a front loader depositing solid waste on the coastal feature.”

However, Carlone reported that the front loader seen by the witness had been transporting different material than the debris found in the dunes.

“We located two different machines that were used on the beach,” said Carlone. “One tractor was clearing the beach, one tractor wasn’t able to drive on the beach.” Both tractors were being used by Ballard’s Inn, and the first tractor had Coastal Resources Management Council permission to clear the beach, said Carlone.

Ballard’s has cleared the garbage found in the dunes and placed it in its dumpsters, reported Carlone.

Ballard’s Inn owner Steve Filippi told the B.I. Times that he believes this material had, “washed up on the dunes during the storm in [Hurricane] Sandy.”

However, Carlone said that the police are still investigating the incident. “If we could find out who did this, we would charge them with a criminal offense,” he said. “We were very offended by this, obviously.”

Town Councilor Norris Pike echoed Carlone’s comments. “Things like this are just extremely offensive to me,” Pike said.

First Warden Kim Gaffett said that the incident had been placed for discussion on the Town Council’s agenda “to acknowledge that it’s not acceptable,” she said. “To have somebody apparently dispose of their garbage was a real affront to the things we’re [the town] trying to do.”

Tillson agreed with Gaffett’s comments. “This community has done so much to protect our beaches,” said Tillson. “I was really upset that people have gone to try to bury that amount of trash on Land Trust property.”

He also said, “I think it’s something we should let the public know about.”

Town ordinances prohibit littering on beaches.

According to Section 9-17 of town ordinances, “It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit, leave or discard any cans, bottles, papers, paper or plastic goods, trash or rubbish of any kind, material or nature on any beach of part of the shoreline of the town.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.