April 30. 2017 3:22AM

Paul Feely's City Hall: Water Works applies for state money for storage tank


Water flows through a canal under Manchester Water Works' Cohas Avenue Station, where it spins the turbines that generate electricity. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)


Manchester Water Works has applied for funds through the state's Department of Environmental Services Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund to build a new 2.5- to 3-million gallon water storage tank for the Londonderry water system and for upgrades at the Cohas Avenue Pump Station in the Queen City.

The new storage tank would be located adjacent to the existing tank at the end of Josephine Drive in Londonderry. Pumps, motors, electrical systems and other related equipment would be replaced at the Cohas Avenue Pump Station. All proposed work would be completed inside the building. The combined project is estimated to take about 24 months, with an estimated completion date of December 2018.

The estimated cost of the overall project is $6,150,000.

Both the Board of Water Commissioners and city aldermen voted to authorize funding in the amount of $6,150,000 for this project on June 16, 2016, and October 4, 2016.

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The leaders of tomorrow might just be at City Hall today.

The last two meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen have featured presentations by four teams of 6 municipal employees, all of whom took part in a Leadership Academy earlier this year put on by the University of New Hampshire's Professional Development and Training team.

The city enrolled 24 participants in the academy. Each were nominated by their respective departments to take part. The 24 team members met for three one-day sessions spread over four months. A project was assigned during the initial session, and participants went before the aldermen this month to give presentations on their work.

"UNH was a great partner and worked with us to get the overall cost to the city just under $7,500," said Jane Gile, the city's human resources director. "The work projects produced some outstanding results that will assist the city moving forward while providing great leadership opportunities for the participants."

Gile said funds for the Leadership Academy were included as part of an allocation for staff development and training in Mayor Ted Gatsas' 2016 budget.

The four tasks assigned to the employee teams were: recommend an employee and management development educational process; develop a strategy to increase employee use of health insurance cost savers; recommend a communication strategy that effectively reaches all employees; and frame the city's guiding principles/values and recommend a way to communicate throughout all departments.

Solutions crafted by the teams will be sent to aldermanic committees for review in the near future.

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The $500,000 Queen City Loan Fund (QCLF) that "will utilize existing MDC capital and provide gap financing in conjunction with a commercial lending source" for new and existing businesses in Manchester, according to David Eaton, chair of the Manchester Development Corporation (MDC), has been approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

According to a fact sheet provided to the board by the MDC, the fund will be limited in size to $500,000. No single borrower will receive a loan larger than $75,000, and no more than 25 percent of the portfolio will be concentrated in restaurant loans. The MDC will not be the sole or primary lender.

The Capital Regional Development Council in Concord will serve as the underwriter for the loans - or an outside underwriter if approved by a vote of the MDC board - and the Manchester Economic Development Office (MEDO) will service most loans, unless an outside servicer receives the approval of the MDC board.

The MDC board will vote on all loan recommendations prepared by the underwriter. MEDO will collect all loan payments and provide reports to the MDC and Board of Mayor and Aldermen. All loan payments that are delinquent for at least 30 days will be transferred for collection. The loans typically provide "gap" financing to help cover the difference between available private financing and the total amount needed for qualifying proposals.

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The school year may have been extended by one day for city schools due to snow days and weather delays, but graduation day for Queen City high school seniors remains the same.

Commencement ceremonies for all four of the city's public high schools will be held Saturday, June 3, at SNHU Arena. The schedule is as follows:

8 a.m. MST High School

10 a.m. Central High School

2 p.m. West High School

6 p.m. Memorial High School

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Registration is now open for the city's summer school program. The program is available for students of all abilities in grades 6-12. The Manchester School District's summer school program runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. for block one, and 11 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. for block two. The program will be held at Manchester High School West from June 20 to July 14. There is no school on Monday, July 3, or Tuesday, July 4. For more information contact Ms. Hansen-Proulx at aproulx@mansd.org or 624-6356, ext. 1211. Visit http://www.mansd.org/summer-school-2017 for registration forms and more information.

Staff reporter Paul Feely covers Manchester City Hall for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Email: pfeely@unionleader.com.