Derry board mulls upgraded water, sewer system Energy Amendment to Town Plan ready for reading

Lawrence Gubb of the Londonderry Planning Commission. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Planning Commission member Larry Gubb spoke extensively with the Londonderry Select Board on Monday about problems that community members — especially businesses — are expected to face in light of state regulations that require more physical distance between water sources and sewer systems.

The commission, he said, did a rough survey of Londonderry businesses and found many “are very vulnerable to expansion, change of use, and more importantly, change of ownership.” Possible solutions are community water systems or community sewage systems.

He added that instead of trying to cover the whole town, these may accommodate smaller sections of the villages. Due to the complexity involved, Gubb said, the commission would like to get a more professional assessment.

Town Administrator Robert Nied, foreground, said wastewater issues are the biggest impediment to development.

Town Administrator Robert Nied agreed, saying that wastewater issues are the biggest impediment to development.

He said several people have approached the zoning department about starting a business in town, but couldn’t because of wastewater issues. Select Board member Bob Forbes said the concept of shared septic is good.

Gubb said the Prouty property may be viable for a south village wastewater plant, though it is probably too far for the north village. Board Chair Jim Ameden added that the IGA Grocery and Jake’s Restaurant, both at Londonderry Marketplace, have built up-to-date septic systems, so there is room in town for such systems.

Energy Amendment read
for public hearing

Nied has received a copy of the draft Energy Amendment to the Town Plan from the Planning Commission, which has approved it as written. Earlier Monday evening, a hearing was held at the Windham Regional Commission on the Town Plan and the amendment.

Nied said he will make copies of the Amendment for the Select Board to review and will schedule a public hearing on Sept. 17. You can read the Energy Amendment here and view the solar and wind energy maps at the end of the amendment.

Gubb, flanked by Bob Forbes, left, and new Planning Commission member Gail Mann.

Also, the board canceled its Sept. 3 meeting since it falls on Labor Day. The board will instead meet on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17.

Nied said that Youth Services has informed him that Ed Brown has fulfilled the requirements of his diversionary program contract and that the case is closed. Last September, Brown, owner of the Mill Restaurant, had painted over a mural designed by Flood Brook students to cover a state-owned wall. He was charged with unlawful mischief. Nied told the Telegraph that Brown “apparently did not comply” with the requirements of the first diversion program he was offered at the Brattleboro Center for Restorative Justice. The State’s Attorney’s office then referred Brown to Youth Services.

The board agreed with Gubb and the Planning Commission that it would be best to get bids over the fall and winter for the water diversion portion of the Town Office Planning Project and plan for the work to begin in the spring. Gubb said Marble Valley engineer Kevin Smith said the drawings were ready for contractors to look at. Smith highly recommended sending bid documents to local contractors. Gubb said the work was mostly excavation and drainage. Nied said he has standard bidders language and a bidders list so “we can probably move forward.”

The town has received a copy of a Cultural Resource Identification Survey commissioned by the Department of Transportation to identify impact the planned road work on Route 11 between Londonderry and Chester. The Department of Transportation will repave Route 11 in 2019.

Gail Mann was approved by the Select Board to become the newest member of the Planning Commission. Mann, who has lived in Londonderry for 3 1/2 years,  has experience dealing with wastewater issues in upstate New York.

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