WINDHAM — Town officials plan to ask voters for money to extend the regional pipeline bringing water from Manchester to southern New Hampshire further into town.
The Board of Selectmen plans to ask voters to borrow $6.3 million to construct an addition to the Southern New Hampshire Regional Drinking Water Supply Project. The extension will bring water to the area around the high school, near Route 111 and Range Road westerly along Route 111 to Ledge Road, Town Administrator David Sullivan explained.
The total project is expected to cost about $9.5 million to engineer, plan and build the pipeline extension, Sullivan said.
The town is actively applying for grants to offset the costs, he added.
Grants for the addition to the pipeline had previously been denied because the town lacked funds to contribute to the project, Sullivan said.
“While the state sees the project as worthwhile, we didn’t have the funds to match a grant,” Sullivan said.
The regional pipeline is funded completely by the state through New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.
Salem is overseeing the parts of the pipeline being built in Windham and Salem, and is expected to run the utility in Windham because the town does not have its own water department, according to Sullivan.
Windham hired engineers with Weston & Sampson, an engineering firm based in Manchester, to conduct a feasibility study regarding who should run the town’s water operations — whether the town should run its own utility, hire a contractor or allow Pennichuck Water Works to run the line because the private water company already serves customers in town, Sullivan said.
Selectmen are also asking voters to borrow $300,000 to fix the tower of the Searles School and Chapel. The 105-year-old building is in need of repairs to the stones that create the tower, Sullivan explained.
Fixing the stones are “an extreme cost, it’s extremely labor intensive to physically remove them and install new ones,” Sullivan said.
To hear more about the projects, the Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing about the bond items on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room of Town Hall.