Nutfield News • March 10, 2011
Page 7 Residents With Pennichuck Water Want Derry Takeover
KAITLYN G. WOODS NUTFIELD NEWS
Pennichuck Water cus- tomers in Derry expressed concern with rising rates and poor water quality at a March 1 Town Council workshop on Nashua’s acquisition of the company. “Per quarter, if I got my
water directly from Derry, I would pay $22.88; but being a lucky Pennichuck cus- tomer, I pay $116.79,” said Town Treasurer Rita Correia, a Pennichuck East water customer.
Correia said she is wor-
ried water rates will contin- ue to increase.
But Nashua Mayor Don- nalee Lozeau said her city’s $198 million purchase of Pennichuck will in the long run stabilize rates for all cus- tomers, which is why the city decided to acquire the company. “Rates will be lower than they would have been under previous owner- ship,” Lozeau said. Still, Correia said she
would like to see Derry pur- chase its Pennichuck satel- lite system from Nashua.
“It would seem more sensible if I’m going to pay a rate increase, I may as well pay it to Derry so eventually it gets paid off and I get to pay a rate of $22.88,” she said.
“I don’t see any benefit of the City of Nashua run- ning the water system for certain Derry residents when the rest of Derry residents are getting better quality water for a lot less money,” Joe Lunetta of Adams Pond Road agreed. “There’s really only one option, and that’s for the Town of Derry to
Town Budget to be Presented
KAITLYN G. WOODS NUTFIELD NEWS
——◆—––– The Town Council set its
budget schedule March 1, with the Fiscal Year 2011- 2012 budget to be presented on March 31. Chief Financial Officer Frank Childs said he expects the town will come in on budget at the end of the fiscal year, meaning the town wouldn’t need to transfer funds between budgets.
Council Chair Brad
Benson asked Childs if he expects the town will have to cut funding next year in areas where the town is overexpended. Childs said the town appears to be track- ing well, and that the Fin- ance Department is working with each department to keep its spending down. The budget, including
personnel budgets, narra- tive, and Missions and Objectives, was due to the Town Administrator by March 4 for review by
March 18. After the budget is delivered to the Town Council on March 31, the council tentatively plans to hold review workshops on April 7, 12, 14, and 19. A public hearing on the budget is tentatively scheduled for April 21, and a final budget review workshop, if neces- sary, is tentatively sched- uled for May 5. The Council tentatively sched- uled its final vote on the budget and Capital Im- provement Plan for May 17.
acquire the water system that has to do with Derry residents.”
“I couldn’t help but feel the same way if I were in your community,” Lozeau said in response to Lunetta’s concern. “You’re running a system, you’re running it at a lot less cost than you’re seeing from the other com- ponents, and the same can be said for other communi- ties in the system that are having the same struggle.” Although Nashua is not in a position to negotiate selling any of its satellite systems, Lozeau said once the city completes its pur- chase of Pennichuck’s shares and gets its approvals in place, there will be further discussions. “We would be very inter-
ested in working with the other municipalities to fig- ure out how we can make that better for other commu- nities,” she said.
For now, Lozeau said Nashua is not trying to run a state-wide water system, but rather to protect the quality of Pennichuck water, and to try to prevent development from taking place. Key to protecting customers outside Nashua is the city’s decision to establish a Board of Directors to run the compa- ny. The board is to be com- prised of representatives from each of the municipali- ties serviced by Pennichuck. Nashua also plans to budget about $8 million for capital investment, meaning funds will be available to fix prob- lems with any of the compa- ny’s systems. Derry Water Deputy
Director Thom Carrier said while he doesn’t anticipate any noticeable change for Derry’s Pennichuck cus- tomers in the short term, Nashua’s expenditure of capital investments could impact Derry in the long
term. “We’ve enjoyed a very
long, productive, and excel- lent relationship with Penni- chuck Water Works over the years. They’ve shown a real effort of putting money here in Derry,” Carrier said. “Will the $8 million be spent in Nashua, or as has been Pennichuck’s past practice, to make significant invest- ments in capital improve- ments in other communities, such as Derry.”
Carrier recommended the council consider that question as Nashua moves forward with purchasing Pennichuck, and potentially opening discussion on sell- ing some of its satellite sys- tems. For now, Lozeau said a
Board of Directors will ensure Pennichuck contin- ues to operate as a company, sensitive and responsive to all its customers’ needs.
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