Easements Obtained for Water, Sewer Project Expansion

The Derry Town Council has unanimously approved the purchase of two easements in order to facilitate the expansion of town water and sewer down Route 28 South.

At the May 6 meeting the Council heard a presentation from Public Works Director Michael Fowler and Deputy Public Works Director Thomas Carrier on the proposed easements, which they say are necessary to facilitate a project that “targets the next phase of economic development in Derry.”

Fowler first gave a history of the project and sketched a timeline for the next phase. He reminded the Council and television audience that in fall 2013 a bridge was replaced on Rockingham Road and water and sewer extended as far as Winter Street. Since then the plans have been “refined,” he said. On March 27, 2014, the bids were opened and the contract awarded to American Excavating.

The current plans call for extending water and sewer from the Rockingham Road/ Winter Street junction east to Webster’s Corner, south to Berry Road, and north on Bypass 28 to Humphrey Road. To facilitate this, it will be necessary to cross a couple of private properties and obtain utility easements, he said.

“The contractor is eager to start. We have a short construction season in New Hampshire. Their goal is to complete the bulk of the work in 2014,” Fowler said.

The extension to Humphrey Road is expected to be done from May to August, Fowler said. The extension to Berry Road is to be done July through November, and the extension to Webster’s Corner from July to October. The work will overlap and multiple crews are expected to be out, Fowler said.

While last fall’s work resulted in road closures and detours, Fowler said this year’s project will be done with “staggered” roads, closing one side at a time. “There will be minor delays but no detours,” he said.

Fowler said the town will again have a Web page with updates, and notices would be sent to residents and South Range Elementary School parents.

Carrier took over the microphone, reminding the Council and television audience that the extension of water and sewer down 28 is a “major component” of the Municipal Water and Sewer Master Plan dating back to the 1980s or ‘90s. In addition to expanding the tax base with more business and industry, it is expected to protect the existing tax base by improving water and sewer services for constituents in that area, he said.

Carrier wrote in a memo, “To facilitate roadway widening, site distance improvement and drainage work, five easements, on parcels 05013, 05052-001, 05053, 05031 and 05037 along Rockingham Road, are needed.”

To allow the gravity flow of sewer and minimize the impact to wetlands, the project requires that 1,500 feet of sewer main be installed from Bypass 28 to the existing sewer main along Fairways Drive, making necessary two easements from Fairways Apartments, PID 05046-013 and 05046-012, and one from the Circle of Friends preschool, PID 05048.

The project also requires construction of a water booster pump station to provide the required water pressure, to be built on a vacant parcel, PID 05008, at 120 Rockingham Road.

Carrier said the five easements needed for road and drainage work and the two Fairways easements were provided to the town without its having to compensate the owners.

The easement at Circle of Friends, 49 South Main St., is valued at $19,700, Carrier said. The owners requested a waiver of the assessments and connection fees for the new sewer at 49 South Main St. and their abutting parcel, 45 South Main St., PID 05047. The estimated combined value for the fees is $17,300. The staff also recommends a reimbursement to the owners of up to $1,000 for their legal fees, making the total compensation $18,300.

The easement at 120 Rockingham Road is valued at $40,000. Carrier said the staff is in negotiations with the owners.

The Council approved the purchase of the easement at 49 South Main St., 7-0.

For information on the project, call Public Works at 432-6144.