MALONE — For now, Malone town officials are sticking with Giles Legacy, owner of Legton Inc., for the gravel used to fix town roads — that is, as long as Mr. Legacy follows through on an agreement to fix the access road leading into his gravel pit.
Mr. Legacy was awarded the contract to supply gravel to the town in May after he submitted the low bid for the material, but at the town board’s meeting on June 25, Councilman Jack Sullivan raised concerns about the safety of the road entering the gravel pit located near the Malone Fish and Game Club on Webster Street Road.
Mr. Sullivan brought up his concerns after visiting the site.
“I find that the road in there and the setup is horrendous,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s safe.”
On Monday, Councilman Paul Walbridge said Mr. Legacy agreed last week to make the area safe for town employees.
Acting Highway Superintendent Bruce Mallette will inform board members at Wednesday’s meeting whether he believes Mr. Legacy is working hard to improve the area or “just dragging his feet,” Mr. Walbridge said.
Mr. Walbridge also said he hopes the board will know on Wednesday about a time frame in which the repair work will be completed.
Attempts to reach Mr. Legacy for comment were unsuccessful.
The concerns about safe access to the gravel supply so far have not resulted in any delays in the town’s planned road construction projects for this summer.
Mr. Mallette said on June 25 there does appear to be “a lot of work” that needs to be done on the access road before gravel can be obtained from the pit.
“The top has to be all stripped off; there’s trees, that’s got to be stripped back before we can even start; the floor needs to be leveled ... there’s holes everywhere,” Mr. Mallette said. “We’d have to carry everything in probably from Webster Street Road to even get set up.”
Mr. Mallette said Mr. Legacy offered free gravel to the Highway Department if the town would do some work on the property.
Councilwoman Mary Scharf said the town should require Mr. Legacy to fix the site since he is the property owner.
“He said to me that he didn’t have the machinery to do it,” Mr. Mallette said. “That’s why he asked me to do it in exchange for some gravel.”
On June 25, Mr. Sullivan said he believed the board should contact the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to come and inspect the gravel pit area before the town’s Highway Department employees go to the site.
“I don’t think our people should be in there until there is a signoff” from the inspectors, he said, adding that he didn’t believe the large equipment needed to load and haul the gravel could get into the pit.
“We need to have a safe environment” for the town crews, Mr. Walbridge agreed.
Most members of the board agreed to contact the MSHA to inspect the area. But Ms. Scharf said she didn’t want “to sic the government on anybody.”
Mr. Walbridge agreed.
“Maybe we should just ask him that fact and just say, ‘Listen, you know, we’re not real comfortable, we don’t want to sic the dogs on you, but if you’re willing to withdraw your bid, then we could go elsewhere,’” he said.
Ms. Scharf said she would rather deal with the issue that way than call in a federal government agency on Mr. Legacy without contacting him first.
Mr. Sullivan proposed that if “negotiations fall through” with Mr. Legacy, the town would contact the MSHA.
Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Walbridge, Councilwoman Louise Taylor and Supervisor Howard Maneely voted in favor of the idea, but Ms. Scharf abstained.
“I don’t know how I stand,” she said. “I don’t like, again, involving a government agency with our private citizens.”