But despite that vote failing, several residents came to the meeting because they were concerned about what the future holds.
“I’m concerned about what the impact would be of public water and what the costs and the benefits are,” said Liz Neale, a Plaistow resident and business owner. “I didn’t realize the town water system was in such bad shape. But I didn’t know the specifics about just how long it’s been taking to get cleaned up.”
The town also brought in several people from outside the community to discuss opportunities. Bill Klubben, the planning director in Bow, talked about how his town installed the first new municipal water system in New Hampshire in 50 years.
“This reminds me of where we were,” Klubben said. “Embarking on it is a major task and I just want to talk about it from my experience.”
John Boisvert of Pennichuck Water Works discussed the option of his company providing water to the town.
“It’s probably the source that’s most available to everyone,” Boisvert said. “But when you talk about the dollars that everyone has to spend, rates are going to be very high.”
Cliff Sinnott, the director of the Rockingham Planning Commission, spoke about municipalities partnering together.
“There have been several examples where communities have worked together to share and store water,” he said. “As long as they are satisfied they have the capacity, it can drive the cost down.”
Sinnott said the town could explore partnering with Haverhill.
“It’s across state, lines which could complicate things a little bit,” Sinnott said. “But I think it’s an option.”
Fitzgerald said the next step would be speaking with selectmen and choosing the best options would be.
“There are several grant programs that the town would likely be eligible for to evaluate some feasibility studies for water resource protection,” he said. “These could be very valuable and help assist us.”Experts from around the region descended on Plaistow as they discuss solutions to provide a water supply to the town.