A work crew begins drilling a well near Robbie Mills Sports Complex in an effort to restore water service to the area since a water main broke in April. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Workers began drilling a well Thursday at the Robbie Mills Sports Complex to bring running water back to the field used by the Winnipesaukee Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
The team has been playing all season without any water to irrigate the grass or allow for use of flush toilets or concessions. They will likely be high and dry for several more days until the new water well system becomes available.
A rainy summer has kept the field green, and portable toilets have been brought in for fans and players.
The team's regular season goes from June 7 to Aug. 1.
Kevin Dunleavy, Laconia’s director of recreation and facilities, said he didn’t have an exact estimate for when water would be restored.
“Gilford Wells started drilling this morning,” he said Thursday. “There is no way to know how long drilling will take. It all depends on how far they need to drill until they hit adequate water. I expect them to be there at least part of tomorrow and possibly for several more days. We could get sufficient yield from the first well or we may need a second well to provide enough water for the facilities’ needs.”
The field at 15 Eastman Road depends on a water tower that is part of the former Laconia State School campus. A water main serving that tower failed in late April.
Rather than make expensive repairs, the state, which is under no obligation to provide water to the city's field, opted to serve its facilities by tying into a water main on Route 106. That roadway is close to the state's property but a good distance from the ball field.
The city's solution was to dig two wells at a total cost of $47,000. The City Council approved the expenditure, but Laconia still needed to get the state to sign off on the plan. The state required another City Council vote, attesting that City Manager Scott Myers is authorized to sign relevant documents.
Also, there was a change in plans on the location of the wells. At first they were to be placed on state land outside the sports complex. Myers said a decision was made to place the wells in the sports complex, as the city has greater control over that land.
Although the sports complex land is owned by the state, it has been leased to the city for 99 years at nominal cost.
- Written by Rick Green
- Category: Local News
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