October 6, 2017
Contact: Merelise O’Connor, District Administrator 536-1733
PVWSD Statement Regarding MOA with Eversource
Plymouth, NH – Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District (PVWSD) wishes to clarify the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Eversource. PVWSD has entered into an MOA with Eversource to protect its rate payers from costs associated with the Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) line planning and engineering, as well as potential costs for future infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
PVWSD Commissioners have not taken any position with respect to NPT. The Commission’s purpose is specifically to deliver water and collect and treat wastewater for District users. The District is a municipal utility with a mission distinct from the broader Town government. Commissioners do respect the purview of the Town government to take a position against the proposed transmission line, but remain neutral on the issue, as a Board.
The PVWSD has plans to replace water and sewer lines from Foster St. along Main St. and South Main St. all the way to Warren St. This project has been in the planning and design stages since 2014. There is no current timeline on the proposed project because the NPT line, if approved, will also travel along the same route with the potential for underground conflicts.
The District Commissioners are concerned about the necessary business disruption that will be created to replace the 90 year-old water and sewer lines on Main St. and have deferred any work until the outcome of the NPT project is known. This is to avoid having Main St. under construction twice. The Commission is committed to minimizing the disruption to Main St. businesses while recognizing that District users will benefit from the local improvement project.
The Commissioners have openly discussed this plan with Town officials, the Plymouth Selectboard and Planning Board in public several times since 2015.
Besides the high risk of this aging infrastructure breaking unexpectedly and costing more money to repair in an emergency situation, fire suppression is also a critical issue due to undersized lines. The proposed project will address these risks.
It became apparent over the last year that the District would incur substantial engineering costs to review the NPT plans, provide information on the District’s underground structures and provide access to manholes for NPT surveys. The Commissioners believe that it is in the best interest of the District constituents to be well prepared, to safeguard the space the District requires underground for its own project and to be sure that District users are not shouldering the added engineering expenses due to NPT. So with all of that in mind, the District approached Eversource to ask if these expenses could be reimbursed and Eversource agreed. The resulting agreement for reimbursement of expenses is the substance of the Memo of Agreement between the parties.