Hinsdale sewer work to begin next week

Friday July 2, 2010

HINSDALE, N.H. -- Long-awaited construction work on Hinsdale’s downtown sewer system is set to begin next week.

Town officials have reported the project, totaling more than half a million dollars, will replace some of the sewer lines from Route 63 North near Canal Street to River Road.

In total, Hinsdale will receive $687,000 through federal stimulus funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and from the New Hampshire State Revolving Loan Fund for this infrastructure project.

During a special Town Meeting last July, residents voted to authorize the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen to borrow half the funds to replace the sewer main and water connections in downtown, as well as $37,000 to substitute the current generator at the water treatment plant with a newer model.

Half the cost of the project will come from stimulus money, meaning 50 percent is forgiven by the state because the town is using ARRA funding.

According to Hinsdale Town Administrator Jill Collins, some of the sewer lines date back to the 1930s through the 1950s with only minor fixes coming since they were constructed.

"A lot of our sewer lines are 30 years old in the village area of the downtown," she said. "There’s a lot of sagging and cracking. Back in 2003, we actually did a sewer study on the downtown area and we identified areas that needed to be replaced, and so this is part of the effort to replace -- we did Canal Street in 2007-2008, and now we’re working on the Main Street area."

The town has applied for grants to conduct a feasibility study for expanding the project further up the main drag into the upper village district heading toward the schools.

While the project involves replacing parts of the sewer system, it also is taking some of the older lines and installing a "sleeve" running through it to save replacing the entire piece of equipment.

"This project also involves replacements for water connections," said Collins.

But the major benefit for Hinsdale is the renovated sewer should lift a moratorium on the downtown region that restricts commercial and residential development because of the high infiltration in-flow (water treated at the plant that does not need to be treated) at the facility.

"In other words, it’s getting into the system in some form, and so we have this high in-flow which has caused a moratorium on the downtown area for adding new units," said Collins. By addressing this problem, Hinsdale may get the moratorium lifted and the town can encourage future economic development or affordable housing.

Hinsdale awarded the commercial contract to FL Merrill of Pembroke, N.H., a company specializing in site work and road construction. The construction is likely to last an estimated 60 days, for a maximum of three months.

Chris Garofolo can be reached at cgarofolo@reformer.com or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.


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