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Waterline extension to improve firefighting capabilities in Jaffrey’s industrial park

  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.


    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.


    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.


    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • A water main extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to the industrial district on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey is on track to be complete this spring.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

JAFFREY — Businesses in the industrial park on Old Sharon Road will be able to connect to the town’s water supply for the first time this spring following the completion of a long-awaited $1.6 million water main extension project.

Town officials say access to the town’s water supply for businesses that currently draw water from private wells will improve firefighting capabilities, as well as promote industrial growth and development.

The construction of a waterline extension from D.D. Bean on Peterborough Street to local industries on Old Sharon Road — including New England Wood Pellet, Monadnock Disposal Service and Atlas Pyrovision Productions — began in October 2012 and will resume this spring, according to Jo Anne Carr, the town’s director of planning and economic development.

“The main portion of the line is in the ground,” Carr said in interview with the Ledger-Transcript earlier this month. “We haven’t completed the service connections to the businesses. We’ll do that in the spring, as well as finish up with any bank stabilization and repaving of the roads.”

A federal grant administered by the Economic Development Administration for $831,000 will cover 50 percent of the $1.6 million waterline extension. Voters at Town Meeting in 2009 authorized the appropriation of $1.6 million to extend the town’s water to the district, with the understanding that at least 50 percent would be funded by grant money.

Money set aside from the Stone Arch Bridge Tax Increment Financing District will pay for the other half of the project. TIFs contain tax revenue collected by the town over and above the taxes collected in 1998 from the area that the district encompasses, and the money collected each year is used for improvements to those districts or returned to the general fund. Jaffrey has two TIF district funds — the Downtown TIF and the Stone Arch TIF for the industrial park on Old Sharon Road.

The town hired contractors from DBU Construction in Epson to do the waterline extension work, after seeking bids for construction in August.

Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain said Monday that the expansion of the water main will greatly assist firefighters who in the past have been challenged in getting water quickly to the scene of a fire in the industrial park.

Currently, firefighters attach a four-inch water hose to a 30,000 gallon cistern in the district, but Chamberlain said several fire hydrants will be installed in the near future that will make water readily available for emergency response.

“New England Wood Pellet is adding two hydrants at its facility, one at the front of the facility and one at the rear,” Chamberlain said. “There has also been some discussion with Monadnock Disposal about installing a hydrant closer to its property.”

No businesses in the district have sprinklers at this time, but that will soon change, too, Chamberlain said.

NEWP’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson said Monday that his company is in the process of installing a sprinkler system, as well as other water protection systems to reduce dust hazards at the company’s Jaffrey facility. “Having access to the public water supply definitely enhances the safety at NEWP and helps with fighting fires. It’s a positive thing,” Wilson said.

In a recent settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, NEWP agreed to pay $100,000 in fines and make work safety upgrades at its Jaffrey facility following a four-alarm fire that occurred at the plant on Oct. 20, 2011. The fire blazed for 15 hours and required more than 100 firefighters from 12 area towns to put out.

A second fire on April 27, 2012, occurred when a mechanical malfunction in the pellet mill — where the sawdust is transported and compressed into pellets — sent a spark into pellets contained in the cooling unit. A third fire on May 23, 2012, ignited in the plant’s sawdust dryer following a power outage.

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