Councilors are considering a proposal that would allow the Town to have three culverts and one bridge replaced for the cost of just two structures, according to officials.
The council was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the plan on Tuesday March 7 at press time.
On May 3, 2011, councilors created the Bridge Improvement Fund to serve as a capital project fund, Public Works Director Michael Fowler wrote in a staff report.
The two projects that were originally designated were the replacement of the North High Street/Folsom bridge and the Tsienneto Road culvert near Route 102.
But since the creation of the fund, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has moved forward with plans to actively promote the construction of the Exit 4A project at a total cost of $53.5 million, Fowler wrote. The two projects initially in the Bridge Improvement Fund are within the construction area and NHDOT would likely be addressing these locations under the construction funds for the Exit 4A project, Fowler wrote.
Staff is seeking to reassign these funds and instead construct two culverts on North Shore Road: in Fiscal Year 2018, North Shore Road – Beaver Lake, at a cost of $375,000 for design and construction; and in Fiscal Year 2020, North Shore Road – Island Pond Road, at a cost of $485,000 for design and construction.
This fund has a balance of $775,782, which includes a promised payment from NHDOT of approximately $180,000 for Bridge Aid reimbursement, due in Fiscal Year 2019, Fowler wrote.
Both of the projects are eligible for the NHDOT Bridge Aid program which only reimburses 80 percent of design costs or $128,000.
“After factoring in anticipated reimbursements, there is ample balance to fund both projects,” Fowler wrote.
In terms of fiscal impact, “by reassigning funds to two different culvert projects on the Capital Improvement Plan leverages Derry’s ability to fully fund them without raising taxes to do so,” Fowler wrote.
Both projects would still be completed by NHDOT under federal and state funds.
“Essentially, the Town is able to have four culverts/ bridges replaced as opposed to two,” Fowler wrote.
Staff is recommending the Town Council approve the motion to change the designated use of the Bridge Improvement Fund from North High Street/Folsom and Tsienneto Road to North Shore Road – Beaver Lake and North Shore Roa – Island Pond.