Windham selectmen debate possible paths to municipal water
This week, he told selectmen that the combination of a lack of a townwide municipal water source and overall lack of fire hydrants is a major obstacle to Windham increasing its commercial tax base.
“We have cisterns all over town, but these can become a huge maintenance challenge when they age,” Valentine said.
Valentine referred to a statewide study conducted in the early 1990s that suggested southern New Hampshire could benefit from sourcing its public water from the nearby Merrimack River, further noting that Pennichuck Waterworks’ facility “currently has a lot of unused capacity.”
The town relies on individual bedrock wells as well as 68 separate public wells, with the largest of those wells serving approximately 200 homes.
Valentine said the committee feels strongly that bringing in water from an outside source would recharge the town’s water system, while making it possible to bring fire hydrants into Windham.
A January 2012 municipal study on the cost of public services indicated that new commercial development would result in a net gain of 78 cents for every tax dollar collected in Windham, while the town’s master plan calls for an increase in the commercial tax base to 10 percent of total valuation by 2014.
Selectman Roger Hohenberger said he supported putting the water study before voters but stressed the item should be kept separate from the general operating budget.
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