Board of Health seeks contractors

The pump at Nebbs Well in Huntington has to be replaced. (Photo by Amy Porter)

HUNTINGTON – On Wednesday, the Board of Health discussed two water-related projects that have not been completed due to the difficulty in reaching contractors.
The town was advised by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that the hand-drawn water pump for Nebbs Well on Pond Brook Road (Route 66) must be replaced, because rust is getting into water drawn from the spring. The water itself has passed DEP standards, according to Hart.
Nebbs Well has been a public spring for well over 100 years, with postcards from the late 1800s showing horses and buggies stopping for water there. When Route 66 was redone 20 years ago, the spring was contained with the pump and a fence, and bicyclists braving the steep grade of the road can often be seen resting and getting a drink.
Board of Health member Thomas Hart said funding for a new pump was approved at last year’s annual meeting. To date, efforts to contact local well contractors have been unsuccessful. BOH member Melissa Reid said she would start contacting a wider group of professionals until she receives an answer. The pump replacement is supposed to be completed by the end of the fiscal year.

Vintage postcard of Nebbs Well. (Courtesy of Huntington Historical Society)

Hart also said he did not believe the second testing of 2017 of the old landfill on Basket Street had been completed, because the keys to the locks had not been picked up. He said the results are due to the DEP by March 1.
Hart said the town has to test the ground water and air quality twice a year until 2020, at the cost of $10,000 per year. He said to date the former landfill site has passed DEP standards.

The board is also preparing to write a warrant article for the Annual Meeting to pay for a new solid waste compactor for the transfer station. Hart said the compactor, which is leaking oil, is 29 years old and would cost $16,000 to replace, and nearly $15,000 to repair, according to one estimate they received.
“For $1,000 more, we can just buy a new one,” Hart said. Reid said she will get estimates for the cost of a new two-yard three-phase compactor that can use vegetable oil for hydraulic fluid, which Hart said was safer in terms of a spill.

A container currently in the Highway Department yard which has been used to collect metal as a fundraiser for the Huntington Fire Department must be removed due to lack of a permit, according to Hart. He said the transfer station has offered their metal bin to the department, and Fire Chief Gary Dahill said they are interested. The funds collected are used to buy new fire-fighting equipment.
Hart said the town loses money on the metal collection bin, which costs more to haul away than they get back in receipts. He said they are looking to draw up a new contract with New Republic that does not include hauling the scrap metal.

Hart also said the Board of Health wants to plan a recycling education program for residents. Huntington was the second lowest town for recycling at 22 percent among the ten towns that participate in the Hampshire Resource Management Cooperative, according to Kathleen A. Casey, HRMC administrator.
Hart said he will plan the event and invite Casey and a teacher at Gateway Regional High School whom he said has a “green” class. He said they had set a goal of 50 percent recycling in Huntington this year, and have gone up only by 1 percent. Hart also said he wants the education program to focus on shopping, and how to look for recyclable and minimal packaging.

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