The costs of developing commercial property are increased significantly due to our lack of municipal water. The lack of this important utility has been identified as the top reason that commercial development in Windham has been so slow. Currently 92% of Windham’s taxes are collected from homeowners, with very little commercial development to take up that burden, unlike other communities such as Andover, MA and Bedford, NH.
A case study that demonstrates what Windham businesses must do to operate here is found in The Warde Health Care Center, a not-for-profit health care facility and large employer in Windham. WHCC had to make substantial upgrades to their existing water system in order to install a sprinkler system as mandated by the Feds. The Center is serviced by a well, which had to be dug 1,000 feet deep and which utilizes a powerful pumping system to help fill a 50,000 gallon storage tank, which all had to be installed at the business owner’s expense. In addition, many other costly upgrades to the existing system were required, including installation of larger piping, and dredging of a small pond to provide an additional source of water for the WFD.
This was a very expensive undertaking for the Center to take on and when completed, additional maintenance costs were incurred as well. They are also now required to maintain the system to some very strict State standards. The Center believes that a municipal water supply may have been a simpler and less expensive process.
Many commercial developers are not willing to take on these exorbitant and unpredictable costs and as a result, it is no surprise that commercial development is Windham has been stifled, slowing any relief of the tax burden for Windham residents. The WEDC believes that the study of municipal water options for Windham may be worth taking a closer look at.
The Windham Economic Development Committee – Keeping you informed and remaining dedicated to enhancing the vitality of the local economy to balance the tax base for all Windham residents. Visit us on line at: www.windhamnewhampshire.com/committees/economic-development-committee