Selectmen approve test drilling for gas delivery

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By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer

Grafton – Grafton selectmen approved the drilling of a core bore by Algonquin Gas at their April 19 meeting.

According to company representative Jon Bonsal, Algonquin proposes to drill as part of the data-gathering stage of the Access Northeast Project. They will use Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) which is purported to minimize environmental concerns. The drilling will be at the Fisherville Pond area and in the Water District. It should take four to five days and drill down to approximately 120 feet. It will be off Pleasant Street and use paved roads to and from the site. Access rights through both private and town land have been obtained.

The project has been the source of controversy and Bonsal noted that the project had not yet received Conservation Committee (ConCom) approval.

“That’s the next step,” he said.

Bonsal informed the board that this test may not require further permits and was thus seeking the selectmen’s approval before proceeding, even though a special permit will be required of Algonquin for the test.

“I’m not comfortable with this,” said Selectman Dennis Flynn.

Selectman Brook Padgett then moved to approve the project, contingent upon approval by both the Water District and ConCom. It passed 4-1, with Flynn in opposition.

In other business, the board unanimously approved Paul Powers and Nicholas Lawrence as temporary Cemetery and Park Department personnel and approved William Kuck as a special police officer.

Also by unanimous vote, the board approved contracts with Incrediflix, Wicked Cool, Play-well Teknologies, Skyhawks Sports Academy, Hillside Meadows Equestrian, and Fin and Feather Sports for Recreation Department summer programs. Lucente Jewelers and North Main Street Antiques were granted license renewals.