Town Receives $900K in Grants for Water Quality

By Kaitlin Bedell

The town of Londonderry has been approved for two grants from the Department of Environmental Services (DES) in regards to drinking water in town. 

Town Manager Kevin Smith announced to the Town Council at their June 21 meeting that the town would be receiving money from the DES. 

Smith said that he had some “very good news” to report to the council from his meeting with the DES, Assistant Town Manager Lisa Drabik and Town Solicitor Mike Malaguti from earlier Monday morning. 

The DES is a group that was founded as a fund commissioner that is responsible for dividing out safe water drinking grants to communities in need. 

Smith, Drabik, and Malaguti went to the commission to present their request for two grants regarding Londonderry’s drinking water. 

The first grant presented was in the amount of $500,000 which would be used to administer a rebate program for residents who hook up a filtration system. 

This grant would be retroactive to 2019 and would continue through till 2024 or until the funds are expended. 

The second grant was in the amount of $400,000 and was intended for the funding of the Lancaster Drive water hookup in town. 

The town previously had issued a warrant article in March for the project, but instead this grant would supplant the warrant article. 

According to Smith, the grant would allow for the project to be put into place without the taxpayers having to put any money towards it. The grant would also mean that the residents in that area would not have to pay anything for their water hookup. 

Smith said the only possible contributor would be the responsible party.

Both of the grants presented by Smith, Drabik, and Malaguti were approved by the DES. 

“Really the bulk of the credit here goes to both Lisa and Mike who did two separate presentations for these two grants,” Smith said. 

Smith said that the commission voted unanimously to give the town both grants in the full amount of money that was requested. 

“This is fantastic,” Smith said. “Really a feather in our cap.” 

Smith also said that prior to these two grant approvals, the DES had spoken with town leaders before regarding the issues Londonderry has had. The commission had described the town as “proactive” and a “model community” for their “wholistically thinking” response to these issues. 

The DES also noted to Smith that they were expecting more funding to be distributed in the area. 

Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that came from Washington, the state of New Hampshire is set to receive large amounts of money in the near future. 

According to Smith, the Chairman of the DES believes that water is an issue in a lot of areas in southern New Hampshire which will require attention. 

“They seem willing and ready to throw a lot of funding in order to have a permanent solution to this issue so that was very good news out of the DES this morning,” Smith said. 

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