Dorset quarry, a new non-profit?

DORSET - The idea of public use of private entities has once again caused a stir, this time surrounding the Dorset Quarry. Dick McDonough, who owns the quarry, held a public meeting to see if community members or the town would help with the upkeep required to keep the quarry open. While it is located on private property, the swimming hole has been used for decades as a public recreation area.

McDonough said he wants to keep the quarry open to the public, but would like some help with the maintenance and upkeep he does to try and keep the area safe. For example, he said he has cut down some of the tall trees and rope swings in the area that visitors use to jump in the quarry, cleaned up garbage and painted over graffiti.

The idea was circulated of having local youths, like students at Long Trail School and Burr and Burton Academy help with the clean up. There was also the suggestion of hiring security or more police presence in the area, as a way to deter illicit activity.

McDonough mentioned he has thought about creating a 501-c3 non-profit organization, as a way to care for the quarry without carrying the burden of maintenance himself. He asked if anyone present at the meeting would want to join, and a sign up sheet was passed around. Chris Brooks, chair of the select board, said in his opinion, creating a non-profit was the best way to go about finding a solution to this problem. Then, he said, the non-profit could potentially petition the town for funds through a warned article at Town Meeting.


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