August 22, 2012BELMONT — Revitalization of Belmont Village is underway, and selectmen invited residents last week to the Corner Meeting House, where they could speak with engineers and representatives of Busby Construction, who will be performing the work over the next several months.
First and foremost for the project is the reconstruction of the water mains and drainage systems in the downtown area, and that may be the biggest inconvenience for residents.
"Communication is the only thing that's going to make this happen, though," said Chris Mulleavey of Hoyle, Tanner and Associates, which engineered the project.
Liz Ziegler of Hoyle, Tanner will be the onsite representative for the firm, and Mulleavey said she will be available to address any concerns residents may have about the project. A trailer beside Sargent Park will serve as the office for the project, where she may be found during the weeks ahead.
"Liz is extremely good about communicating with the crews, and will be speaking with these guys as the work takes place, so seek her out if you have a problem," he said.
Also available to ease the inconvenience will be Rick Segalini of Busby Construction, who said he can be readily identified by his white hard hat. Segalini has headed large water main projects in Laconia and other towns, and said he is no stranger to such work. While most residents will be on temporary water lines until mid-October, he said his crew hopes to complete the project before winter.
Residents expressed some concerns about access to their driveways when work takes place in front of their homes, and Segalini promised he would work with everyone on such matters.
"We'll knock on doors ahead of the pipe crew to let you know we'll be there in a couple of hours and ask if you'll need to get your car out," he said.
When necessary, cars may also be parked along the end of a street, out of the way of crews, as the work takes place.
Detours and traffic tie ups may occur when the temporary and eventual permanent water lines cross Main Street or other side streets in the village, but signs will notify residents when that occurs.
Company owner Paul Busby also stressed the communication aspect of such a project. He said his company's goal is to "get in here and out as soon as possible," and encouraged residents to speak up if they encountered a problem.
"Keep your eye on what the end of this job is going to be, though," said Busby. "There's going to be some days where people won't be happy, but in the end, it will all be worthwhile."
Other concerns expressed at the session were about interruptions in water service as the lines are installed, but Segalini assured people that most water shut offs would be brief. He said there may be a few times, such as when they tie in to the water system at Main Street and Route 140, where water in some areas could be off for a couple of hours. In those instances, notices would be sent out before the work is done.
"Other than that, there may be a few interruptions here and there throughout the days, but hopefully, everyone will be showered and off to work, and the water will be back when they come home," he said.
Public Works Director Jim Fortin added that residents and businesses may also begin to detect the odor of chlorine in their water as they treat the lines during construction.
"Chlorination will go on as long as they're laying pipe along Main Street, but it should all be back to normal by winter," Fortin said.
He also urged residents to cooperate with the construction crews, and to try to avoid areas where they are working. While access will be made available for people to get where they need to go, he said that the least amount of traffic possible will help speed the work along.
Selectman Ron Cormier said the town had already been in communication with officials at the Middle School to make them aware of the project, and asked that parents and staff access the school from the Route 106 end of Concord Street to Memorial Drive.
Drainage improvements will be made as sidewalks and curbs are added in areas like Sargent Street, where runoff has commonly flowed into yards. Poles along Main Street will also be replaced and notices from FairPoint Communications and Public Service of New Hampshire will be distributed when that work is set to begin.
Next summer, improvements to the village green behind the library are set to begin.
Cormier ended the meeting by stressing the communication factor previously voiced by the engineers and contractors. He urged those who attended the informational session to pass on what they learned to their neighbors and friends.
As the work progresses, updates on the project will be posted on the town website, www.belmontnh.org. Besides Ziegler and Segalini, questions or concerns may also be addressed to Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin at 267-8300.