Quarry open, for now

DORSET - Summer time is here and so are the crowds at the Dorset Quarry. Along with the crowds of people, comes some of the negatives impacts to the quarry as well.

Richard McDonough, the owner of the property where the quarry is located off Route 30, said a family member had gone down to take photos of the quarry on July 2 and saw an individual clearing brush from the in the woods.

"He took pictures of him cutting and removing it [the brush and trees]," he said.

Coincidentally, there was a Vermont state trooper on the site who was able to interview the individual. McDonough said he could not elaborate any more, as there is an ongoing investigation. However, he did say he will be pursuing a civil case against this individual.

"They made the quarry much more dangerous ... one side is very steep," he said. "I purposefully did not want people over on that side."

While this incident made McDonough frustrated and he said he would have to consider closing the quarry to public use, he did say the community has been much more helpful this summer in the maintenance of the quarry.

In late March, McDonough held a public meeting at the Barrow's House restaurant in Dorset to seek some ideas and help regarding the Quarry. Specifically, McDonough said he would like help with the maintenance and upkeep of the property. He said this summer has been a positive development.

"I have two or three individuals that are very active," he said. "The schools had days when they had students come out [and they] cleaned up considerable trash. They've been quite responsive."

On Saturday, July 12, a concert will be held at the quarry featuring the "Don't Leave" Band and sponsored by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and the town of Dorset. Rob Gaiotti, town manager of Dorset, said this s a way for businesses to try and raise awareness about how important the quarry is to Dorset. It is the first event of its kind, at least as far as he knows, Gaiotti said.

McDonough said he thinks the event should be really fun.

"I think that it's a very positive development that they're [town officials and private citizens] doing something," he said. "I keep it [the quarry] open for the enjoyment of the public."

His threat of closure was more serious after the latest incident of vandalism. McDonough said closure will remain a possibility, but the possibility is distant.

Gaiotti said there is an entrenched behavior in many individuals from the area to visit the quarry, so it would be a fairly difficult closure.

"It's pretty clear if you drive by on a warm weekend that it's being utilized ... by a lot of people," he said. "If he makes the steps to close it those people could be without a place [to swim] ...Those could be the folks who would step up to the plate and try and work things out with Mr. McDonough."

For the time being, McDonough is happy with the help he has received this summer in maintaining the quarry. While he was not happy more brush was cleared, his is optimistic that there is an ongoing investigation and an individual was question about the matter.

"It's a positive development," he said.


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