Bridges are Milford spending priority CIP committee divided on library expansion

MILFORD – The town’s bridges are the top spending priority for next year, according to the Capital Improvement Plan Advisory Committee.

Nine bridge were identified by the Department of Public Works as needing $291,000 worth of repairs.

Number two on the CIP priorities list is a new truck for the Department of Public Works.

Following that are a sidewalk tractor plow with sander, storm sewer video inspection and cleaning project and a $5 million addition and renovation of the Wadleigh Memorial Library.

On Oct. 6, Paul Dargie and Tim Finan told selectmen there was general agreement on their seven-member committee for all items except the library.

“Some members put it very high and some very low,” Dargie said, and because of the divided opinions the library ended up in the middle of the list.

Those at the top and bottom were “pretty much the same for everyone,” he said.

Below the library, as numbers six and seven on the priority list, are a Nashua Street/Ponemah Hill Road signalization and sidewalks project and a west Elm Street water main extension.

Water commissioners, however, asked for the water main be removed from the list, saying the cost of the 3,200-foot extension, estimated at $868,000, will be paid by water users.

Last month commissioners told selectmen that businesses on the west side of town are in desperate need of water.

“We decided we can’t take a chance,” said Selectman Mike Putnam, who also serves of one of three water and sewer commissioners.

If the extension isn’t installed by next year, it would have to wait six more years, because planned improvements by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to that Elm Street/Route 101 corridor requires a five-year moratorium on digging.

Last on the priorities list is a search for new town water sources. The town’s backup water source is the Pennichuck Water Company and just to be connected to Pennichuck costs the town $1,600 a month, Putnam said.

Also on Oct. 6, selectmen voted unanimously to support a request from MACC-Base to replace the communication center’s 10-year-old consoles, which members of the board said are essential.

The total cost would be $108,000 with Milford’s hare at $72,000 and Mont Vernon and Wilton sharing the balance.