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Candidate profiles: Wilton Water Commission

James A. Tuttle

Occupation: Retired

Time living in town: 63 years

Previously elected offices: Road Agent 1973-1975; Water Commissioner 1977 to present; Sewer Commissioner 2006 to present

Other qualifications: ZBA 1992 to present; Wilton Fire Dept. 25 years, retired as Captain; Emergency Facilities Committee 2008 to present; Trustee of 2nd Congregational Church

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

Two issues that are important for the Wilton Water Works are distribution system upgrades due to undersized pipes, some of which are over 100 years old, and additional storage capacity. We are presently pursuing an hydraulic model of the water system that will point out deficiencies and possible solutions to improve the overall performance of the system. Additionally, potential expansion of the system to outlying sections of the town will be identified in the model. The lack of a backup water supply, such as the Milford-Wilton Interconnection pipeline, a second water storage tank, or rehabilitation of the existing reservoir system to a potable water status, is of major concern as we only have a two-day water supply should our existing wells be contaminated. We have been discussing the interconnection pipe with the Milford Water and Sewer Commissioners and are seeking funding through the State of NH DES. The wellhead protection program is aggressively enforced to continue providing safe drinking water from our wells on Route 31 South.

William F. Condra

Occupation: Building inspector for the City of Nashua

Time Living in town: 30-plus years

Previously elected offices: Wilton Board of Selectmen, 2007 to present (twice elected, once appointed); New Hampshire House of Representatives (2010 to 2012)

Other Qualifications: U.S. Navy 1959 to 1999, retired; town building inspector 7 years; town Planning Board alternate 7 years; budget committee one year

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

1. I want to preserve the independence of the Wilton Water works. I am concerned that current plans to expand the Wilton Water Service across the river into Milford and up to the Green Bridge are not in the best interest of the 700-plus ratepayers of the Wilton water service. My fear is that once our system is connected to Milford or capped in Milford, we may become further regulated by state or even federal rules. Milford is already affiliated with Penachuck Water, a larger regional water distribution system owned by the City of Nashua. Taking our service in to the Town of Milford, I believe runs the risk of loosening our autonomy and independence. The rates paid by the 700 rate payers in Wilton are far lower that neighboring services. If we hook in to a larger regional, we will be pressured by state, county and others to bring our rates up, more in line with theirs. As presented to the town, this plan is offered to provide a back-up for the service in event of a failure of Wilton System. It would also work in reverse and Wilton could provide expanded service to Milford. There is adequate back-up for Milford from Penachuck. Wilton has back-up resources that we already own. These were described to the Wilton Board of Selectmen by The Chairman of the Wilton Water Commission in recent months. There are existing reservoirs that in the past served the Town. These bodies of water still exist and can be made ready for use by reinstalling a section of pipe that was removed at the time our new wells and storage were put on line. This emergency connection can be made at a far less cost than the several hundred thousand dollars the Wilton Water Commission has anticipating it will cost to connect Wilton water to Milford. I oppose advancing Wilton Water beyond the existing intrusion into Milford which ends at Pine Valley Mill.

2. At times, the relationship between the Wilton Water Commission and the Town Administration, Tax Collectors office and Public works seems strained and at times adversarial. I will work to develop a more homogeneous working relationship between the tax collectors office, the Board of Selectmen and the Water Commission.

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