By DAVID CARKHUFF/THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — If voters approve $725,000 in borrowing to pay for improvements at two sewer pump stations on Varney Point, work may wrap up this year, selectmen learned Wednesday.
Town Administrator Scott Dunn said he hopes to "hit the ground running and go out to bid very promptly after Town Meeting if it's approved."
Article 7 on the Tuesday, March 14, warrant seeks $725,000 for the upgrades. The article stipulates that money for future payments will come from sewer use fees.
Public Works Director Peter Nourse said the goal is to replace infrastructure that dates to the 1980s.
"I'm optimistic about it. There wasn't any debate at the deliberative session," he said.
The work calls for replacement of mechanical, electrical and pump systems, wet wells and buildings housing the machinery.
"All of that is very old, prone to break down, lots of maintenance problems. Those pump stations haven't seen any significant upgrades since the 1980s," Nourse said.
"We're shooting for the end of this year," he said.
Dunn told selectmen that the buildings that will house the sewer pump stations should blend into neighborhoods.
"They are in nice neighborhoods so we did think it would be a better idea, rather than the straight, clapboard, vinyl siding, to use the shingle vinyl siding," he said.
The town also plans to require a shingle roof for cost reasons and to fit in the neighborhood, Dunn said.
"The principle reasons we're doing this are to replace all of the antiquated equipment in the buildings and to bring the buildings up to code and to make sure that the covers to the wells are not inside the buildings," he said.
"There needs to be a staging area for the construction projects, and the best we could come up with right now is the ice rink," Dunn added.
Gilford's Arthur A. Tilton Ice Rink, located along Varney Point Road, is open daily from late December through early March. When the sewer-pump construction begins, the ice rink's parking lot will be used for material storage, Dunn said.
Selectman Richard Grenier said, "When the beach gets full on weekends, a lot of people park there, at the rink."
But selectmen signed off on using the rink parking lot, noting a lack of other options.
In another Public Works project, selectmen learned that the town plans to continue rebuilding Edgewater West on Governor's Island. Based on requests from property managers on the island, a second section of the road will be reconstructed this year, Nourse said. The town plans to apply a single top course on both sections in 2018, he said.
"They will essentially get a new road," he said.
Due to the recent thaw, the town of Gilford has begun posting its roads to a maximum weight limit of 10 tons, effective Feb. 22. Anyone with questions can call the Public Works Department at 527-4778 with any questions.
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