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Oct 31, 2015 5:32 PM

Sanbornton residents fight for local 'Swap Shop'

SANBORNTON - The local transfer station, or as residents call it - the Swap Shop - used to be piled high with hand-me-down clothes, book shelves and other reusable items. But now, those boxes are packed away, and residents are fighting to get them back.

"I've been living in Sanbornton since 1987," Cherie Braley said. "And I think it's just a shame that they took it all away."

Local residents hope to reverse a new town policy adopted by the board of selectman that closed down the swap shop -- a place where residents ccould pick through the used items and take them home, free of charge.

"My grandkids have gotten skates, roller skates, and other toys and stuff. You know it's just been a really good thing," Braley said.

Selectmen say they had to close the informal trading on the recommendation of their insurance company, Primex.
The manager of the town's transfer station, Mike Adams said that Primex notified the station about the risks connected to the free swap shop area and recommended it close down.

For example, if someone were to take home a second-hand coffee maker that was later recalled, the town could be held liable, according to the town administrator.

However, a petition signed by more than 200 residents calls for a town-wide vote to rescind the selectmen's decision.

"I can understand the insurance angle on it," resident Mark Foster said. "I think that thought is kind of weak, although, you know, in this litigious age, it certainly has its merit. But it certainly takes away from the small town attitude to be able to have a sense of community to be able to reuse and re-purpose materials."

The petition will be presented to selectmen on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.

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