The Londonderry Conservation Commission Chairperson, Marge Badois, addressed the Town Council during public comment section of the Town Council meeting, Sept. 10, on the need for a Water Management Plan for the town.
Badois told members that the only prior plan, and what is deemed to be the current plan was done in 1991 along with the town’s Master Plan. At the time, the town’s population was only about 17,000 residents, now there are an additional 10,000 residents which draw from the same water sources.
The plan from the Conservation Commission is to fund the plan update through current conservation funds. She told the council that the group would like to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) later this month.
The would like the plan to identify sources of water in town, understand threats, project future demand, analyze the adequacy of water supply now and for the future, and recommend ways to keep the town’s water clean and plentiful.
She also clarified that the Water Quality Study that was approved earlier in the year on the Town Warrant is completely separate from this plan. The difference being, the new plan will be looking at water quantity, not so much quality. She did however mention that the two are very related, if water quality is bad it will effect the overall quantity in town. “The two plans will create a comprehensive approach to managing out water resources here in on.”
She reiterated that the Conservation Commission will fund and direct the effort with the help of town staff, planning and public works, she also thought that local business owners should be part of the committee looking at the study.
Once the company doing the study is hired, they will be required to supply feedback to town boards and committees.
The hope is for the study to begin by December of this year, to allow the work to be completed in time for the 2019 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and budget cycle.
Before the presentation ended, Town Council chairman, John Farrell mentioned that before implementing the plans findings, “You’ll probably have to get the approval of the voters. Unless, you find there’s enough money to fund it through the Conservation Fund.”
If there does need to be tax dollars used to fund the project, it would go before the voters on the 2020 Town Warrant.
Town Manager Kevin Smith reiterated that this is separate from the $35,000 appropriated by voters for the Water Quality Study.