LONDONDERRY — The town has a new task force to study and address the community's water concerns.  

The group, made up of six regular members and two alternates, was officially named at a Town Council meeting on March 1.

The council announced a plan to form the task force in January, charging the group with working on Londonderry's water contamination issues in its drinking water. 

The group will also work with New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services to help put any recommendations into action plans for both short- and long-term time frames and help develop solutions to address contamination issues affecting residents in town.

Applicants were interviewed by the council over the course of several meetings. Those chosen to participate as regular members of the task force are Jim Doucakis, Craig Durrett, Anne Fenn, Thomas Garside, George Kadziola and Paul Lockwood.

Alternate members are Brian Lockhart, Kate MacDonald and David Robinson.

Members were chosen for their occupation/training and expertise in the various sciences like environmental and public health, chemical or engineering fields; toxicology and hydrogeology experience was also welcome. Members also represent all school areas in town including North and South schools, and Matthew Thornton Elementary.

More than 20 people applied to be part of the task force. All those interested will be invited to attend public meetings and stay involved.

"Stay involved and help move this forward," Council Chairman John Farrell said at the recent meeting. "We're going to need a village to make this happen."

Farrell also said he has been in contact with U.S. Congressman Chris Pappas to discuss the water issues Londonderry and other communities around the state are facing.

"It's all good news that everybody is talking about this, from the state to Capitol Hill," Farrell said.

Farrell said by putting the new task force in place, the town can continue to work with the state, and also have members of the new group take on the challenge of finding solutions.

The teamwork with the state will be good, Farrell noted, adding the state will make Londonderry's issues a top priority.

Water has taken up many discussion in town in past years.

Earlier meetings drew crowds of residents speaking out about their water concerns and potential dangers found in several areas of town.

DES officials also joined in those earlier discussions, giving updates to residents about the water issues, with some identified as part of the Saint-Gobain investigation, a facility in Merrimack targeted for several years as a facility where certain industrially-produced compounds led to contamination issues in nearby communities, now including parts of Londonderry. 

Other areas of town are also of concern when it comes to water quality.

Voters will consider a warrant article at the polls on March 9 to approve $250,000 to support a water main extension to eight homes behind the Apple Tree Mall off Orchard View Drive near Lancaster Drive.

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