Infrastructure Committee introduced in Durham

Infrastructure Committee introduced in Durham

Record-Journal

The Durham Board of Selectmen formed a new committee, the Infrastructure Committee, at its Feb. 4 meeting. 

The expansion of public water and natural gas to Durham's Town Center provides economic and community development opportunities. Durham's 2016 Plan of Conservation and Development directs that Durham's elected officials should, "take an active role in encouraging additional infrastructure investment in locations where commercial and industrial development is appropriate and a financial return on taxpayer investment can be demonstrated".

This committee will review current infrastructure, gather information, explore development and expansion options, and craft recommendations regarding the town's infrastructure needs to assist the Board of Selectmen and other boards and commissions with the prioritization of infrastructure projects and funding. In addition, the guidance provided by the Infrastructure Committee will be utilized to implement elements contained in the POCD.

The Infrastructure Committee is tasked with:

Evaluating potential paths for expansion of water and gas services;

Evaluating opportunities to partner with new and emerging technology;

Evaluating the feasibility and desirability of additional utilities such as waste water, telecommunication and Internet;

Creating a benefit and impact assessment summary;

and Developing a schematic plan.

Direction:

The Infrastructure Committee will be comprised of five members appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Members will serve for a period of three years. 

The Infrastructure Committee will operate in an advisory capacity to the Board of Selectmen and will work only on matters assigned by the Board of Selectmen. The members of the committee shall elect a chairman.

The committee chairman should ensure that committee members' names and contact information, as posted on the town website, are correct. Any changes should be sent to the Town Clerk for updating. 

The committee chair will determine meeting dates and times in conjunction with committee members. 

The committee chair is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of committee meetings are conducted in compliance with FOIA requirements.

Minutes that are generated from the meetings should be forwarded to the Town Clerk for posting in a timely manner, consistent with FOIA requirements and in accordance with CGS.

While expansion of the water system was anticipated and planned, there is more work to be done to prioritize and fund the expansion. Similarly, the town has worked with Eversource to expand the gas service to town and school buildings, but a plan needs to be developed beyond that. Other utilities and infrastructure will also be contemplated by this committee to include but not be limited to waste water, cell service, road improvements and more. The information that this committee will mine will be valuable to future developers and will inform future planning.

To serve on the committee, contact the Office of the First Selectman at lfrancis@townofdurhamct.org or 860 349-3625.

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