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$5M in grant money, loan will help upgrade city's water supply infrastructure

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CONCORD - The Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission recently awarded nearly $24 million in loans and grants to upgrade local drinking water infrastructure, including more than $5 million for Rochester projects.

The money will be disbursed to cities, towns, water utilities, cooperatives, and associations across the state, according to a press release sent by the New Hampshire state Senate earlier this week.

Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, who chairs the commission, said, "The $24 million in funding from the Exxon-Mobil settlement will be put to good use supporting numerous water infrastructure projects focusing on improving drinking water quality and access to water resources in communities across New Hampshire."

The money for Rochester comprises $3.8 million in grants and $1.3 million in loans.

2018 Drinking and Ground Water Task Force Construction Project Funding List

"After a careful and thorough vetting process by the Department of Environmental Services [DES] and dedicated members of the Commission, 19 projects rose to the top out of nearly 90 that were submitted as part of the first series of awards made under the application process since the commission began its work last year," Morse added. "These projects ranged from grants to get lead out of local schools, to addressing both manmade contamination from PFOA, MtBE, 1,4 Dioxane, and naturally occurring contamination issues to running lines to areas with supply issues that will assist in spurring economic development."

Towns receiving awards also included: Merrimack, Walpole, Goffstown, Newmarket (two projects), Swanzey, Greenfield, Belmont, West Stewartstown, Errol, Conway (two projects), Gorham, Lebanon, Plymouth, and NH Department of Education. (Note: this award will be distributed by DOE to individual school districts for lead removal projects) Full list is attached.

Rochester's funding will also go toward two separate projects.

The Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission was established to oversee the Exxon-Mobil settlement funds awarded to the state as damages from MtBE contamination totaling nearly $278 million.

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