EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 8, 2014

Water study question bound for Windham voters

WINDHAM — Voters will decide at Town Meeting whether to fund a $35,000 water study.

Selectmen recently agreed, 3-2, to put the question before voters, after previously deadlocking on the issue.

Selectman Ross McLeod, who had been absent during prior consideration by selectmen, joined with Phil LoChiatto and Al Letizio Jr. in deciding to put the question before voters.

Selectmen Kathleen DiFruscia and Roger Hohenberger were opposed.

Town Meeting is March 11.

The Economic Development Committee has advocated for the study, which would review the feasibility and potential costs for bringing municipal water service to the Route 111 and Interstate 93 area.

Letizio, who also serves on the Economic Development Committee, said he was pleased with the selectmen’s action.

Had the board failed to do so, a citizen’s petition would have been required to get the question before voters this March.

Letizio said selectmen will vote later whether to recommend passage by voters.

The lack of a source of municipal water has been the number one deterrent to development in the commercial area, Letizio said.

The Economic Development Committee has argued that commercial development will benefit the community’s tax base, potentially lowering tax bills.

Letizio stressed a water study itself does not obligate the town to build a municipal water system.

DiFruscia has warned a public water system could come at high cost with little benefit.

Hohenberger has questioned whether everyone would benefit if a public water system is developed in commercial neighborhoods.

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