Milford mulls digging near Osgood Pond
MILFORD – Many parts of the planet are running dry, including California, where vast agricultural lands are threatened by a water crisis.
Lucky for Milford the town has plenty of water, for now. Its three wells are in Amherst, across the Souhegan River, and Pennichuck Water Works can provide back-up in an emergency.
But the future is always uncertain, and Milford’s water commissioners want to make the town’s water supply a little more certain by looking at possibly buying two lots near Osgood Pond.
If the town finds enough good water at the site voters would be asked to approve the purchase in March.
First the town also has to clear up title problems before they test the water, and town attorney William Drescher enlisted the help of Tom Quinn, a title attorney. He and Quinn were at recent Board of Selectmen and Planning Board meetings to explain the issues.
With some deeds going back to the 1860s, the title search has proved to be very difficult, Quinn said.
Both lots are owned by Tom Lorden and one, on the west side of the pond, is about 27 acres. The other, on the south side, is much smaller.
"Where Lorden’s wetlands and the town’s wetlands end is impossible to determine, and that’s why we came up with the idea of a boundary line agreement," Quinn said. Assuming the town finds water and the title problem is cleared up, "the town will own both pieces, so where the line is will be a moot point."
Selectmen will be asked to sign a boundary line agreement and at a public hearing Aug. 10 said they would take a vote on it Aug. 24.
The Planning Board and Conservation Commission each voted to recommend the plan to selectmen.
"Right now we have plenty of water, but in the future we may need more," said Milford Water Commissioner Dale White in a phone interview.
"We never know when a well will go down. We have Pennichuck, but it would also be good to have our own water," White said.
The commissioners have been looking for another water source for years, and in 2009 thought they had found one on North River Road, but negotiations with the property owner didn’t work out.
In the 1980s, two Milford wells, the Keyes well and the Savage well, were shut down after the state Department of Environmental Services found that they were contaminated by volatile organic compounds above drinking water standards, and the two properties became federal Superfund sites.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.