JAMAICA -- Trespassing at the Transfer Station has become such a concern that the town will now be looking into installing lights there and surveillance cameras may come next if more security is deemed necessary.
"In the last month, we have had three situations at the Transfer Station," said Jamaica Selectboard member Judy Flower. "The first one was where people brought in garbage, laid it on the Dumpster and also brought in construction material and put it in the Dumpster. Obviously, they probably had to go through the gate to do that."
The second incident involved the theft of copper tubing. Trespassers broke air conditioning units left at the site and took copper tubing out of it. Flower said they also took parts out of a television set during that time period.
Approximately two weeks ago, wood was stolen during the third incident.
"That was going to be used for construction for us to meet code around fencing and stair cases," said Flower. "That was wood laid on the premises."
She updated the board on the issue during its meeting on Monday, July 28.
Two new locks were purchased for the gate. Keys were given only to people who needed the ability to immediately access the Transfer Station.
The Windham County Sheriff's Department was notified of these incidents. A deputy sheriff visited the site a day before the meeting.
"They are following up and trying to come at different hours.
District representatives mentioned security systems using cameras were implemented around the county, at transfer stations where similar incidents had occurred. Additional lighting was recommended as the first step for the town to take. Flower was told lighting could discourage some people from trespassing.
She recommended the board invest in lighting that is activated by motion. It would be triggered by animals, she said.
A smaller surveillance system option could cost approximately $2,500. Flower's husband Ed had researched cost and effectiveness. He looked at an eight-channel security system that would be digitally backed up and stored.
One system in particular could record two years worth of data on its drive.
"They will not pick up license plates but they will pick up faces pretty clearly," he said. "You can go see what's on the system from a smart phone or laptop."
Flower said she would be visiting the WSWMD facility in Brattleboro the day following the meeting to look at its surveillance system.
"If you know anything about what is going on with the stealing, please come to one of us on the Selectboard and let us know so that we can begin to pursue," she added. "It's getting to be a major problem for us. When they start to steal metal, they're actually stealing not only from the Transfer Station but they're also stealing from taxpayer money because we get paid. And of course, that reduces the cost of what we have to spend on garbage."
Citizens were advised not to try and stop those involved in trespassing or theft. Instead, the Sheriff's Department should be notified.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.