LONDONDERRY — The town's trail system is moving forward with good progress on the horizon for the next phase.
That's what Londonderry Trailways representatives told town councilors at a recent meeting Feb. 16, saying the next phase of the trail will bring Londonderry's connection up to the Manchester town line.
Trailways President Bob Rimol offered updates on the progress, saying Phase 6 is the main focus of the group.
Londonderry’s first paved mile of trail system was finished in 2013. Phase 5 was the most recent part completed, leading the connection of trail up near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport/Harvey Road area, totaling four and a half miles of connected trails.
The next phase has already gained support at the ballot box, with 77% of Londonderry voters approving a warrant article at the polls in 2019 to help the trail system move forward. Once complete, the trail will total a bit more than six miles.
Phase 6 will provide a connection to the area near the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire and on to the Manchester town line. Construction should start on this phase in 2022, Rimol said.
This phase will also be more of an "arduous" process, Rimol said, with many federal regulations and procedures in place as part of the process.
Rimol added since 2013, rail trail funding has included grants, individual donations, business donations, conservation support and town support through warrant articles at the polls.
Trailways supporters also told councilors they hope to revisit another trail project, the School Pathway trail, that began as a partnership between town public works, engineering, planning and Trailways, and was planned to form a connection through the main area of the town business complex along Mammoth Road down to Pillsbury, connecting areas near schools to each other as a continuous pathway.
Right now the path ends at Moose Hill School.
The project is getting a new look Trailways officials said, adding it is the hope to get a portion of the path completed. More information will be brought back to the council later this year.
Councilor Tom Dolan credited the trail volunteers and all their hard work over the course of many years.
"You will be leaving quite a legacy to the community," Dolan said. "Long after you're gone it will all be here."
In other business, councilors began the process of interviewing potential members to make up the town's new water task force, put in place earlier this year to deal with water contamination problems in several areas of the community.
The task force, once in place, will be charged with working on Londonderry's water contamination issues in its drinking water. The group will also partner with New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services to help put any recommendations into action plans for both short- and long-term time frames and help develop solutions to address the PFAF contamination issues affecting residents in town.
The task force will be made up of six members, and possibly several alternate members, who have occupations or training in the environmental/chemical engineering field, environmental sciences, toxicology or hydrogeology, etc.
The response for those interested in serving was strong, with 22 volunteers already stepping up.
Council Chairman John Farrell said he is among residents affected by the water situation and added he wants the task force to get started soon.
"We are looking to move very swiftly," Farrell said. "We will be pushing this forward as fast as possible."
Farrell said the town hopes to come up with a plan that can then be executed to understand what the next steps might be. That includes finding the financial support for whatever projects might be put in place.
Farrell added that none of the water contamination issues were the fault of the town or any well owners.