ARPA money to aid Antrim well project

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/29/2022 2:43:14 PM

Antrim will be using $281,615 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward a $3.2 million construction of a town well that was drilled two years ago, and there are hopes for more to come to repair a failing dam. 

Antrim Water and Sewer Superintendent Matt Miller said the town began searching for a well five years ago on its side of the Contoocook River, but wasn’t able to find water in Antrim. The exact well location that was found, which Miller didn’t want to disclose for security reasons, is in Bennington. Drilling on that well began two years ago. 

“Right now the water line runs along Depot Street across Tenney’s Field [behind Tenney Farm] and comes up on the Bennington side,” Miller said. “We searched on [the Antrim] side of the river so we wouldn’t need to put a new crossover line in but we weren’t able to find water in Antrim.”

Antrim has 350 water hookups that serve residents and businesses, Miller said, adding that the town also serves as a backup for Bennington. According to Town Administrator Russell McAllister, the old wells in town aren’t producing as well as they once did, but could still be used as backup if needed.

The new well, which would also include a 26- by 30-foot building, is now in the engineering stages and the transmission line runs under the river through the woods next to the old transmission line.

“[The project] is very expensive with all of the components involved, and we’re only 30 percent complete now,” Miller said.

Antrim Select Board members agreed to use the funds for the project at their Sept. 26 meeting. McAllister said some people at the meeting wanted to use the money for other purposes, including an upgrade to the transfer station and the creation of a database for contacts on the Antrim Community Board, but that ultimately board members decided the ARPA funds going toward the well would be better for all taxpayers. McAllister said the other proposals could likely be funded out of the town’s budget.

McAllister also said the town hopes to receive ARPA money to repair the Gregg Lake Dam, which is on a list of more than 50 state-owned dams in need of major repairs. In June, the state Executive Council approved $35 million in ARPA funds to rehabilitate dams across the state. The Department of Environmental Services has proposed using $30 million on state dam projects and $5 million on projects at the municipal level. 

“[Dam repair] is a lot of money and we don’t know yet,” McAllister said, adding that the town has submitted an application requesting ARPA money for the Great Lake Dam. “We also have 18 bridges in town and two are being replaced.” 


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