Sunapee Looks at $8M Upgrade of Wastewater Treatment Plant

At the deliberative session in Sunapee held February 2 in the high school gym, voters amended only one article before being moving 26 articles to the ballot. The town, governed under SB2, vote by secret ballot on Town Meeting day, the second Tuesday in March. The polls at the Sherburne Gym, Route 11, will be opened March 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • For the Town Warrant, click WARRANT ARTICLES 2010. (See below for amendment to Article 26.)
  • For the 2010 Town Budget ($5.765 Million), click 2010 MS6.
  • For the 2010 Default Budget ($5.827 Million), click 2010 MS7.

A detailed presentation accompanied Article 8. It asks voters to approve an $8 million bond to upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant that serves Sunapee (a 35% user) and New London (a 65% user of the system).

Selectman Steve White said it was an “important bond issue at this time.” He urged voter support.

The presentation included a video of the plant narrated by David Bailey, superintendent of the water and sewer department. A PowerPoint presentation by Neil Cheseldine from Wright-Pierce, an engineering firm, followed and methodically addressed plant history, maintenance challenges, recommended solutions, and the funding scenario.

Designed in 1969 and built in 1974, the plant now has major deficiencies related to the headworks, secondary clarifiers, and oxidation and dewatering of the sludge, Cheseldine explained. A handout for voters listed ten facility deficiencies.

The warrant article says that Sunapee’s share of the cost would not exceed $1.82 million. The greater portion of the cost would be paid by the Town of New London, that share would not be more than 42.25%. Grants and other funds would cover 35% of the cost. Sewer users would pay Sunapee’s portion of the cost, which would result in no impact to the tax rate. A 3/5th approval by voters is required.

“It’s a never ending battle to keep it [the wastewater treatment plant] operating,” said Bailey. “Stuff is just wearing out.”

This is an opportunity for the town to capture some of the federal stimulus money and upgrade the plant before additional failures or possible government mandates, explained Bailey. He went on to say the chance for this level of federal funding being available in the future is “slim to none.”

Spec Bowers, a member of the budget advisory committee, said the upgrade was “essential,” the plant was “in terrible condition, and they are doing the best they can with the equipment they have.”

Detailed information about the project is available at the town office building on Edgemont Road. Bailey encouraged voters to contact the water and sewer department if they have questions, need more information, or wish to tour the facility.

About 95 people including town officials were on hand for this year’s deliberative session officiated by Town Moderator Harry Gale. Discussion and presentations largely focused on two topics: upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant and  Article 23, an advisory question about expanding the proposed new library site at Sunapee Harbor to include the Old Town Hall property.

This year’s proposed zoning amendments, the town budget, articles seeking capital reserve expenditures for equipment and vehicles, and land conservation questions moved to the ballot, in most instances, after short presentations that appeared to satisfy the audience. Many articles prompted little or no debate during the three-hour session.

Article 26, submitted by petition, brought Rec Department Director to the floor. He offered an amendment to the article: “to raise and appropriate $12,000 to construct a ADA compliant bathroom at Dewey beach.” The goal is to build a uni-sex handicapped bathroom that can be accessible during times that beach is not staffed, said Blewitt. It would replace the need for a chemical toilet. The amended article passed; it moves to the ballot.

During the session,  Moderator Gale read to the audience each article (other than the text of the zoning amendments) before accepting a motion and second.  Statements and comments were then entertained. Prior to moving to the next article, Gale asked for a “sense of the meeting” with a voice vote. That’s the tradition in Sunapee under SB 2, Gale explained.

One Response

  1. […] a related article: Sunapee looks at $8M upgrade of treatment plant Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Sunapee Looks at $8M Upgrade of Wastewater […]

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