Sewer, water system for Derry? Town in preliminary mulling stage

By Bruce Frauman
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Londonderry Select Board has agreed to allow the town to participate in two studies with the aim of possibly creating water and sanitation systems in certain portions of town.

From left, Kevin Beattie, Sharon Crossman, Kelly Pajala, George Mora and Robert Nied discuss the water-sewer studies. All photos by Bruce Frauman

Town Administrator Robert Nied, who introduced the studies at the Londonderry Select Board meeting on Jan. 22, said one would be conducted by the Windham Regional Commission and the other by the state. Both would involve village areas of Londonderry and South Londonderry.  Currently every home and business in Londonderry is on well water and septic.

Nied said the possibility of adding smaller systems has been discussed by the Londonderry Planning Commission. Board member George Mora, who is also a WRC representative, said that commission chair Chris Campany said this was a study of “low tech” systems.

Mora said a much bigger study by the state is looking at new systems for waste water management without going to a town-wide system.

The studies are currently in the planning phase.

Planning Commission chair Sharon Crossman said the initial funding is available for six towns and is designed to improve resilience in towns in flood plains.  And state Rep. Kelly Pajala said, “This issue is at the top of the list” in Montpelier. The idea is to “help small communities and villages deal with water and waste water issues. It is just getting going,” she said.

Town Meeting Day shaping up, salt shed work continues

Treasurer Tina Labeau explains that several agencies looking for funding did not turn petitions in in time to be voted on.

Treasurer Tina Labeau said none of the four organizations that were denied a spot on the warning by the board for their appropriation request returned with a petition.

The warning as presented by Labeau was approved by the board without: The Current,  a bus service serving Windham County but with no known regular routes in Londonderry; West River Montessori School; Mountain Valley Medical Clinic;  and Gerda’s Equine Rescue.

As it moves away from calendar year budget to fiscal year budgeting, the board approved the budget for the next year and a half. The budget for the first six months of 2018 runs from Jan. 1 to June 30; and the new budget runs from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. The town set aside $500,000 over five years to pay for the extra six months as it makes the change.

Nied said he expects Lt. Anthony French of the Vermont State Police to  commit to 10 to 12 hours a week of extra overtime patrol, but has not gotten confirmation. The current contract is for 25 hours of extra coverage.

Board member Bob Forbes prefers that the town stick with the Vermont State Police.

Board member Bob Forbes said regardless of the number of hours, he prefers to stay with the VSP for policing because of “training, expertise and discipline.” Others on the board agreed. Ameden said the coverage seems to be higher than before the contract was signed two years ago.

Giving an update on the salt and sand shed, Forbes said the roof rafters are up and the sheathing for the roof and the siding are due to be mounted. He added that some additional bracing needs to be added before contractors can start sheathing the roof. Forbes said that the building might be ready for sand and salt by mid-February.

Road Commissioner Jim Ameden said the town is trying to manage the hours of the road crew to minimize overtime, which means the crew might be off during the day if they will be or had been out late at night.  If people are concerned that they don’t see them out at different times of the day, that’s why,” Ameden said.

The town will be fixing the wall in front of the library after a town plow hit it more than a week ago and loosened several stones.

State Rep. Kelly Pajala, who is also Town Clerk, is giving up duties as Green Up coordinator.

Pajala, who is also Town Clerk, said the vote on the school budget will be by Australian ballot on Town Meeting day. The polls will be open in the old Town Hall, 139 Middletown Road, South Londonderry, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday March 6 and the ballot will be from the Taconic and Green Regional School District.

Labeau said that a full audit of the town financial statements, which has been budgeted for, will be done this year at a cost of $16,000. The town has been using an outside auditor since 2012.

And finally, the town is also looking for a new Green Up coordinator. Pajala, who was coordinator last year, said she cannot continue considering her new duties in Montpelier.

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