It’s been far too long since I’ve reported to you on the work of your Select Board since Town Meeting. As you may recall, you approved funding for many projects for 2017; drilling a new well, completing fire code compliance work, purchasing and outfitting a government surplus heavy duty truck for our Highway Department, doing energy conservation work in all our town buildings, and installing three dry hydrants.
In addition to our work on the projects listed above, we have completed the purchase of the Osgood/Hurd Hill property and have recently received grant monies for that project in the amount of $145,000. We have also recently received additional funding in the form of an unanticipated Highway Block Grant in the amount of $37,112.
We have made considerable progress in providing clean water to our town buildings in the Village, but as of this writing we are not quite there yet. Cushing and Sons company completed the drilling of a productive well, located behind the Town Hall, during the summer. This well is a little over 500 feet deep, produces 8 gallons of water per minute, and has a static water level at 20 feet below grade. (That’s more than enough water to meet our needs.)
After disinfecting the well, all measured values from an initial water quality test were within established limits for bacteria and all but one mineral. The report that we received showed levels of manganese that could impact water clarity or taste, but would not be considered a health hazard.
At that time, we felt confident that all systems were good to go, but wanted confirmation on the quality of the water from various taps throughout our buildings. Consequently, we submitted, for testing, water samples from taps in the Library kitchen, the Connector bathrooms, the Town Office bathroom, and from the tap at the pressure tank. To our dismay, the results of these tests showed elevated levels of coliform bacteria at all test locations. Consequently, we disinfected the well again and reran the water tests at the same taps. This time the tests showed no coliform in the water from the tap in the Library kitchen, the men’s bathroom in the Connector, and the bathroom in the Brick Schoolhouse, and the pressure tank. However, the test for the water from the tap in the women’s bathroom in the Connector showed the continued presence of coliform bacteria.
Going forward, we are attempting to locate the source of the bacteria in the water. Once we are confident where it originates, we will take steps to eliminate it.
Fire Code Compliance Work
After applying for, and finally receiving, a variance from the Fire Marshal’s Office for the originally required complicated and extremely expensive installation of fire walls to separate the Police Office, the Meeting Room and the Road Agent’s Office from the rest of the Town Barn/Safety Building, we have requested and accepted bids for the simplified project described in our variance. (A copy of the variance is attached.) Thanks to Jerry Tepe, our code compliance consultant, for presenting a successful appeal to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
New Surplus Highway Truck
Mike Tarr’s application for a surplus military heavy duty cab and chassis was successful and the truck was delivered to us a short time ago. This truck cost the town $3,500 and has only 3,000 miles on it. Mike is presently having it outfitted with the equipment that he needs on it. We anticipate that it will be ready for snow plowing season.
Energy Conservation in Town Buildings
Your Town Buildings Committee has been working to develop a description of work for our energy conservation work for the Town Barn/Safety Building, Library, Connector, Town Hall, and the Brick Schoolhouse. We waited to learn of the work required for fire code compliance in order to be sure that we would not be duplicating effort between the two projects. We have identified numerous locations where air leaks need to be sealed and where insulation needs to be added. We are putting the finishing touches on our description of work and we should be ready to go out to bid in a week or so.
Jason Walter has been working with our engineer, Sharon Monahan, to find locations for three dry hydrants in Nelson. We have yet to find any new locations that are both technically adequate and are on property that is available for the use by the town.
Osgood/Hurd Hill Project and Grant Money
We completed the purchase of the conservation land located on Osgood/Hurd Hill last June. We purchased the 565 acres from the Harris Center for the price of $300,000, as negotiated by the Nelson Conservation Commission. We recently received the grant from NH DRED in the amount of $145,000 for the use of our Conservation Commission. A portion of these funds will be used in the construction of the required infrastructure for the project. The Select Board will be working with the Conservation Commission to develop the specifics of the land management plans required by the easements that the town gave to the Harris Center when the property was purchased. As we have previously reported, no funds from property taxes were used in the purchase of the property and none will be used in its development or its maintenance.
Additional Highway Block Grant Money
A short time ago the town received an unexpected $37,112 in the form of an additional Highway Block Grant. These funds are to be used specifically for highway projects not previously considered or approved. The Select Board held a Public Hearing on August 30th and heard suggestions on how the monies could be used. The Board took those comments under advisement, accepted the grant, and will be working with Mike Tarr in order to determine the best use of these funds.
Well folks, that’s all for now. Enjoy the Fall in our beautiful little town.