By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY – A joint agreement between the town's municipal water department and Pennichuck Water Works will ease poor water quality and low flow issues for about 600 residents of East Derry.
The interconnection agreement was approved unanimously during Tuesday's council meeting following a presentation by Deputy Public Works Director Tom Carrier.
Carrier explained that in recent years, Meadowbrook/East Derry water system has had significant shortages, particularly connected to summertime usage. It also has been put on notice by the state that the water supply exceeds maximum levels of arsenic. In December, Pennichuck presented a plan to extend town water to residents currently hooked in to the Meadowbrook supply system.
Under the agreement, the current system will be extended from its current location at Pond Road and East Derry Road east about 6,700 feet along East Derry/Hampstead Road to Adams Pond Road, then north along Adams Pond to Wright Road where it will link to Pennichuck's Drew Woods System.
Cost to Derry is $545,000. Pennichuck will pay Derry a hook up fee of $10,062. The plan will potentially add 28 new customers for an annual gain of $6,760 in utility payments.
Another annual ritual of spring meetings is board and committee appointment night. This year, Council Chair Brad Benson moved to streamline the process for candidates who, in previous years, had to sit before the council for a public interview before a selection was made.
“I notified the council I wanted to change the process a little bit. I thought the public interview was daunting for some and intimidating for other. There will be no inquisitions publicly, and I thank you all for volunteering your time,” Benson said.
After each appointment, Benson reminded the public that there were still a number of open seats on various boards and committees. He said that several applications came in after the deadline, and anyone still interested in serving who was not selected should refile an application by April 23. There are currently seven open seats, including vacancies on the Zoning and Highway committees due to the resignation of Al Dimmock, who withdrew from both committees citing health reasons, according to Town Clerk Denise Neale.
New appointees are:
Highway Safety Committee: Randall Chase, Tom Caron and Steve Wallack
Zoning Board of Adjustment: James Webb, Ernest Osborn
Derry Housing Authority: Tom Hosey
Heritage Commission: Frank Santiago, Elaine Connors, Marion Pounder, Donald Kirkland
Conservation Commission: Margaret Ives
Planning Board: Jim MacEachern, Dave McPherson, Dave Granese.
In other business, the council tabled a decision to hire a replacement for the town's Cable 17 Administrator, Barbara Ellingwood, who resigned two weeks ago citing disability.
The station has had two full time employees since 2005. During a discussion of the matter, Human Resources Director Larry Budreau told the council that Ellingwood was instrumental in building the station up and sustaning it, adding that the station would not be able to operate with one full-time employee, especially given upcoming plans to expand programming.