, Derry, New Hampshire

February 13, 2013

Derry councilors hope to restore state grants

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Town councilors voted to adopt a resolution last week to get more state money in the pipeline for sewer and wastewater projects.

The town has relied on the environmental State Aid Grant program to help fund construction and upgrades to its waterwater treatment plan and expand its sewer collection system.

The town applied in February 2009 for two state aid grants associated with its $5.9 million Effluent Force Main Improvement Project.

The projects were on New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services priority list prior to 2006 and were listed as complete in 2007. Final acceptance of the work by DES was delayed until 2009, at which time the town applied for the grants.

The applications have not been processed or approved, due to budgetary shortfalls at the state level.

A letter from the state to Derry said no new applications were being processed during fiscal year 2010 or 2011, although the town sent its application in fiscal year 2009.

Now, there are 124 projects statewide with delayed and deferred funding.

Town officials adopted its resolution to let the state know that is supports the restoration of the state aid funding. Other communities are on board to put some pressure on the state to restore the money.

Public works deputy director Tom Carrier said the state owes Derry about $1 million for its projects.

“This will put pressure on the state to restore the funding,” he said. “It is critically important that SAG funding be part of the governor’s budget proposal.”

Carrier also urged councilors to continue to contact local legislators to ask for support at the state level.

He said there are currently two legislative initiatives to restore funding to the state aid grant program.