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Selectmen updated on major Public Works projects

New consulting engineer chosen for Wastewater Treatment facilities

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News

WORK HAS BEGUN on reconstructing the entrances from Main Street to the Hunter’s/Shop ’n’ Save/Rite Aid plaza and replacing the sidewalk. Here are crews at work last Tuesday morning, April 24. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
April 26, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro Public Works Director Dave Ford gave selectmen a current status report on the town's major projects at the board's April 18 meeting.

As he reported at the last selectman's meeting on April 4, the relatively warm winter and early spring has allowed the town to get an early start on all of its major projects. In addition, the relatively low snowfall and diminished precipitation have keep storm- and groundwater infiltration levels low as well, reducing the amount of wastewater to be treated.

Sewer projects

Ford first reviewed the major sewer project approved by voters at Article 7 in 2008, which included upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant to increase its capacity and prolong its life and construction of the Rapid Infiltration Basin (RIB) effluent disposal system. A total of $6,368,000 was approved and of that total $55,019 remains. While the completed plant upgrades have worked as expected, the RIB project has not produced the results promised by the engineering firm that designed it, Wright-Pierce, despite building two additional disposal basins in addition to the three originally installed. Instead of absorbing the designed average of 600,000 gallons per day, the RIBs currently average only 250,000 gallons per day. As a result, the old effluent spray site is being partially reactivated and will come online on May 1 to make up the difference.

The town has terminated its wastewater consulting engineering contract with Wright-Pierce and filed suit against the firm in U.S. District Court on April 2.

Ford emphasized that the current system complies with the state disposal permit and its disposal capacity will increase as the spray fields come online. Thanks to reduced inflows, the holding pond used to store effluent awaiting disposal is below capacity at 58 million gallons and holding steady.

Article 10 in 2008 appropriated $820,000 for sewer system repairs to reduce inflow and infiltration by storm- and groundwater. Reducing inflow and infiltration increases the capacity of the sewer system by reducing the amount of liquid to be treated and disposed. Of the $820,000, $710,385 has been spent. The remainder is being spent on sewer repairs in the Downtown Streets project, including the sewer line replacement on Glendon Street.

Article 13 in 2012 committed $180,000 to wastewater facility upgrades. $75,000 has been committed to reactivation of the spray fields, which should be completed by May 1. The balance, which is for plant upgrades, is on hold awaiting the attention of the new wastewater engineer (see below).

Water projects

Article 12 in 2010 approved $600,000 for water line upgrades. To date $580,000 has been contracted to Lyman Construction of Gilford, with Stantec as construction inspection engineer, and work has begun as part of the Downtown Streets project.

Article 16 in 2012 approved $500,000 for water meter upgrades. The town has applied for a state loan with 35 percent loan forgiveness to do the project. Ford says he doesn't expect work on that project to begin till the end of the year,

Article 24 in 2012 approved $120,000 for water treatment plant chemical feed upgrades. Ford reported the project is moving ahead quickly, thanks to inhouse work managed by Scott Pike. It should be completed by early summer and come in under budget.

Article 25 in 2012 approved $150,000 for energy efficiency upgrades to the treatment plant. Ford said he is reviewing a design and construction proposal and expects work to begin in the summer.

Road projects

Article 24 in 2010 authorized $99,000 for a Route 28 corridor study, which is needed to get the rebuilding of the road back on the state major projects list. $73,300 has been spent and $21,976 encumbered studying four of the five route segments, The last segment involves deciding what to do with Pickering Corner, the junction of Routes 28 and 109 at Brewster Field. This project has been on hold awaiting spring weather for the steering committee to review alternatives to the current stop sign arrangement.

Article 20 in 2011 committed $750,000 to upgrade town roads. $690,262 was spent last year paving 5.6 miles of road and installing 8,200 feet of drainage. The remaining $53,688 will be spent in May on Pleasant Valley Road, installing drainage, reclaiming and paving. Because of the dry weather Ford plans to do the upgrade of Lang Pond Road first in cooperation with Tuftonboro, and start dust control spraying early on that road.

Also in 2011 Article 24 appropriated $95,000 to a redesign of Pine Street and Crescent Lake Avenue. Preliminary surveys and engineering have been completed and await town review and then a neighborhood meeting.

Article 21 in 2012 approved $550,000 to upgrade town roads. In addition to continuing work on Pleasant Valley Road, final paving coats will be applied to the upper section of Pleasant Street and Lucas Street and the lower section of Lehner Street. Cross Road will be done in late summer followed by Cotton Valley Road in the early fall.

Article 11 in 2010 allowed $600,000 for the Center Street drainage project. $74,750 has been spent on plans and engineering and a $525,000 construction contract has been awarded to Lyman Construction for completion this year.

Article 14 in 2012 appropriated $750,000 for Phase 3 of the Downtown Streets Project. Work in this phase on Union and Lehner Streets will not start until the earlier phases are completed.

Article 22 in 2011 allowed $100,000 for downtown sidewalk upgrades. Last year $57,871 was spent, leaving $42,129 to complete the section of Main Street from Union to Glendon Streets, which involves reconstructing the entrance to the Hunter's IGA/Shop and Save parking lot. Ford said he expects work on that to begin by the end of April.

Article 15 in 2012 appropriated $280,000 to construct/expand the Glendon Street parking lot to include the lot purchased by the town. The contract has been signed with Lyman Construction for $216,061, with the balance to be used for new lighting. Ford said he hopes to duplicate the lighting that was recently installed at Dockside.

Other projects

Article 17 in 2011 approved $150,000 for parking upgrades to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Work has begun on Central and Railroad Avenues and Depot Square using town crews. Utility wires will be placed underground during the project and five new street lights will be installed that match those at Dockside. Road grinding will begin April 30, followed by repaving. New signage will be installed the second week of May.

The Public Safety Building structural repairs, approved last March as Article 11, should begin within 30 days. Ford warned that progress will be slow, since fire equipment bays need to be kept open so the fire department can function. Repairs and drainage improvements were done to the parking lot last year and final paving will be done after building repairs are completed, probably in August.

Article 18 in 2011 approved $150,000 for municipal building maintenance and upgrades. All but $12,366 was expended last year. This year new railings for the entrance to the Libby Museum are being completed and electrical issues at Dockside Restaurant are being corrected.

Finally, plans for upgrades and improvements to the Public Works Garage on Pine Hill Road, to be paid for out of capital reserves, have been completed but need to be reviewed. New fuel pumps and a replacement lift will be installed this year.

New engineering firm

Ford informed selectmen on April 18 that Underwood Engineers of Portsmouth and Concord has been selected as consulting engineers for wastewater treatment. Four firms responded to a request for proposals and a committee narrowed the choices down to two, Underwood and Woodard & Curran, current operators of the wastewater treatment plant. Following multiple interviews the committee recommendation was to use Underwood, while retaining the services of Woodard & Curran for certain tasks. Ford said he was very impressed with Underwood and looked forward to getting "a fresh look" at wastewater issues, including effluent disposal.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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Brewster Academy
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