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Old 03-29-2022, 09:28 AM   #1
Woodsy
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Default Laconia HOA & Condo owners... Change to City Ordinances

Just an FYI....

Last night, the Laconia City Council had a meeting, and on the agenda was a public hearing on Ordinance 2022-189 to amend City Code Chapter 189, Sewers.

Long story short, the crux of the ordinance is a new requirement that all private HOA/Condo associations that connect to the Laconia Sewer System (Winnipesaukee Basin) have ANNUAL inspections. These inspections are projected to cost approx $5k a year for a small association to possibly tens of thousands per year for larger associations such as Southdown/Long Bay! The Per the meeting last night, the City Council will be having at least 1 more hearing on this ordinance before they vote.

This proposed ordinance change has been "flying under the radar" as this was the 2nd public hearing about it. despite the large amount of condo associations and HOA's here in Laconia, Southdown/Long Bay was the only major development represented last night at the meeting.

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Old 03-29-2022, 09:46 AM   #2
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It gets better. Those property owners that have streams or culverts that collect water and dump into another body of water. Like a lake or pond will be responsible to maintain and address issues as they happen. Laconia residents need to wake up and call your city representative and ask them to vote this down. This change ordinance change is being championed by a lame duck city manager and a DPW chicken little DPW head. Same two that want to automate trash pickup


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Old 03-29-2022, 10:51 AM   #3
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I canít place where I learned of this a couple of weeks ago because I donít have a dog in the fight but I seem to recall that the city is simply responding to either new regs by NH DES or Fedral EPA. Not certain though.
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Old 03-29-2022, 10:52 AM   #4
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can someone post where this discussion from the meeting is and in the articles where it says this. i looked in the agenda and minutes posted and I cannot find it
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Old 03-29-2022, 11:11 AM   #5
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I can’t place where I learned of this a couple of weeks ago because I don’t have a dog in the fight but I seem to recall that the city is simply responding to either new regs by NH DES or Fedral EPA. Not certain though.
Many of the new regulations and changes the city’s DPW leadership are looking at here have yet to be implemented by the state and EPA. No direction given. Trying to get a leg up on these regulations will cost Laconia property owners millions before identifying what the new rules actually are.
In my opinion the city’s leadership is attempting to place responsibility and future costs on each property owner.
Last year when the private road problems were being discussed drainage correction costs and who was responsible to pay for being each road up to current city standards was the major hurdle for road acceptance.


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Old 03-29-2022, 11:13 AM   #6
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Default Laconia HOA & Condo owners... Change to City Ordinances

https://www.laconianh.gov/AgendaCent...4?fileID=43190


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Here is the actual document used. It is 38 pages, however itís worth the read.
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Old 03-29-2022, 11:20 AM   #7
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https://www.laconianh.gov/AgendaCent...4?fileID=43190


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Here is the actual document used. It is 38 pages, however itís worth the read.
Thank you I saw that, but to me reading it was hard to decifer, could you point out the section as to where/what is subject to inspection every year and what is needed to comply
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Old 03-29-2022, 11:32 AM   #8
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Many of the new regulations and changes the cityís DPW leadership are looking at here have yet to be implemented by the state and EPA. No direction given. Trying to get a leg up on these regulations will cost Laconia property owners millions before identifying what the new rules actually are.
In my opinion the cityís leadership is attempting to place responsibility and future costs on each property owner.
Last year when the private road problems were being discussed drainage correction costs and who was responsible to pay for being each road up to current city standards was the major hurdle for road acceptance.


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Thanks for clarification.

Not to derail but, I have watched a crew from the city come to Crocket Rd after every rain storm for 13 years now. When I combine the equipment expense and labor, I figure it to cost about $1,500 to $2,000 per storm. This easily repeats 10 times per year.

I donít understand why they donít spend $10K or so and put a drainage ditch and culvert on the uphill side and eliminate the problem.

OKÖ back to the s**ty concerns
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Old 03-29-2022, 12:08 PM   #9
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I would guess this may be part of the EPA MS4 regulations. In many places, storm water is routed into sewer systems over loading the waste water treatment facility and forcing contaminated water into the outflow, usually into a river. (MS4=Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System)
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Old 03-29-2022, 12:59 PM   #10
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Default Youtube link to meeting

The DPW director could not clearly identify rules & regulations, other than the mandatory EPA reporting the City is required to do.

Here is the YouTube link... starts at 9.35. There is more at the end of the meeting starting at 1:22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsQnY5bxMvE

Woodsy

PS: Weirs Bridge acceptance (provisional) is also included in this meeting
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Old 03-30-2022, 09:38 AM   #11
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I would guess this may be part of the EPA MS4 regulations. In many places, storm water is routed into sewer systems over loading the waste water treatment facility and forcing contaminated water into the outflow, usually into a river. (MS4=Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System)
You are absolutely correct, Descant. The MS4 program has actually been around since 2003 but the most recent permit issued in 2016 is much more stringent. It forces cities and towns nationwide to comply with federal Stormwater management practices, most of which are expensive and cumbersome. Another unfunded federal mandate. Many communities are behind the eight ball on this and are scrambling to get into compliance to avoid heavy fines. I canít speak to the alleged issues with the DPW but I can say what they are proposing is likely being forced on them. Disclaimer: I am in charge of the MS4 program in the town I live in in eastern Massachusetts.
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Old 03-30-2022, 10:41 AM   #12
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You are absolutely correct, Descant. The MS4 program has actually been around since 2003 but the most recent permit issued in 2016 is much more stringent. It forces cities and towns nationwide to comply with federal Stormwater management practices, most of which are expensive and cumbersome. Another unfunded federal mandate. Many communities are behind the eight ball on this and are scrambling to get into compliance to avoid heavy fines. I canít speak to the alleged issues with the DPW but I can say what they are proposing is likely being forced on them. Disclaimer: I am in charge of the MS4 program in the town I live in in eastern Massachusetts.
Thanks for the intel on the law. I'm not quite sure that ire should be directed at either the town or the feds. Excess stormwater pollutes our lake. Some combination of local tax and property owner dollars should be spent to stop it. I'm glad the feds are insisting that we protect our lake, and I hope they give us some $, but I think it's up to us to fix it.
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Old 03-30-2022, 04:13 PM   #13
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This was in the Laconia Sun on March 7, 2022. It appears that they are focused on the larger associations with private roads and sewer lines.

Anderson said the purpose of the inspections is to determine the condition of sewer lines which run under the streets as well as the condition of any manholes in the complex. Any complex with private streets, or connector lines which run under multiple properties to reach the city main will need to comply, he said.

As proposed, the ordinance would require private systems to report the inspection results along with information about any maintenance work to the city which then has to report that information to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. If the owner of a private system fails to comply the city would then do the inspection and charge the condominium community.


https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...b37e20dd1.html
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Old 03-30-2022, 05:42 PM   #14
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You are absolutely correct, Descant. The MS4 program has actually been around since 2003 but the most recent permit issued in 2016 is much more stringent. It forces cities and towns nationwide to comply with federal Stormwater management practices, most of which are expensive and cumbersome. Another unfunded federal mandate. Many communities are behind the eight ball on this and are scrambling to get into compliance to avoid heavy fines. I can’t speak to the alleged issues with the DPW but I can say what they are proposing is likely being forced on them. Disclaimer: I am in charge of the MS4 program in the town I live in in eastern Massachusetts.
All true. However, no compliance timeline has been identified. It’s just fear monger.


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Old 03-30-2022, 05:45 PM   #15
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This was in the Laconia Sun on March 7, 2022. It appears that they are focused on the larger associations with private roads and sewer lines.

Anderson said the purpose of the inspections is to determine the condition of sewer lines which run under the streets as well as the condition of any manholes in the complex. Any complex with private streets, or connector lines which run under multiple properties to reach the city main will need to comply, he said.

As proposed, the ordinance would require private systems to report the inspection results along with information about any maintenance work to the city which then has to report that information to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. If the owner of a private system fails to comply the city would then do the inspection and charge the condominium community.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...b37e20dd1.html
It is much more then what was written in article. Please review the documents released by the Laconia DPW


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Old 03-31-2022, 05:33 AM   #16
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The takeaway from the presentation was how the city is compliant with the homeowners sewer systems (funded with tax dollars); but, is not compliant with the developments like Southdown. The insinuation is developments like Southdown must self fund the efforts to attain compliance. It seems conflicting if everyone pays the same tax rate; but, not all get equivalent services. Almost reminds you of massholes complaining about taxation without representation and a tea party breaks out.
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Old 03-31-2022, 06:08 AM   #17
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All true. However, no compliance timeline has been identified. Itís just fear monger.


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I can assure you that the city has a timeline on whatís being required of them by the Feds. Whether or not there is a timeline at the local level, I cannot speak to that.

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Old 03-31-2022, 07:33 AM   #18
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I can assure you that the city has a timeline on what’s being required of them by the Feds. Whether or not there is a timeline at the local level, I cannot speak to that.

BT
However, no compliance timeline has been identified by the city DPW to comply. Either at the State or Federal level.


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Old 03-31-2022, 07:38 AM   #19
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one glaring difference? - why if Condo assocaitons, why not aparments buildings and complexes? if they are worried about the "volume"
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:53 AM   #20
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Apartment buildings and complexes will be required to meet these new standards. The few in the area havenít got wind of it.


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Old 03-31-2022, 05:28 PM   #21
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one glaring difference? - why if Condo assocaitons, why not aparments buildings and complexes? if they are worried about the "volume"
Do any of them have private septic systems that tie into the public system? Do they have sewers?

I think you will see everyone that has any length of drain sewer or long distance tie-in become subject to the same oversight; and it will not be just Laconia.
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Old 04-01-2022, 06:50 AM   #22
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About a month ago, sewage was backed up in WW2. Rowell discovered a collapsed pipe and numerous trees and shrubs branches choking the pipes. The city claim HOAs are responsible for the pipes. So we had a special assessment to clean and inspect the system and replace any broken pipes. This may have set this new ruling about. And we have discovered all our drainage systems need to be inspected as well. HOA is in the process of replacing the out-of-code conduits. The condos were built in the 70s.

We understand there are a number of HOAs as well as private roads that are needed to be maintained in Laconia and they need to be inspected, not wait until something happens.

What's funny is the water is maintained by the city and the electrical is maintained by Eversource. Underground communication such as Consolidated Communication and Breezeline are not. The cables are to be replaced for high-speed internet.
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Old 04-01-2022, 08:17 AM   #23
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The City of Laconia has long favored condo & HOA developments as they are mostly 2nd homes that little to no burden on the expensive city services like schooling, trash removal, snow removal and first responder units. Essentially they are cash cows for the tax base.

ALL but the very oldest of the Condo & HOA developments had their sewer systems approved by both the City and State DES. Any improvements required to attach to the City system were paid by the development. The Condo's & HOA's have long been responsible for any sewer issues that may arise on their property. None of this is new.

The issue at hand here is the who bears the burden of cost for an unfunded government regulation that seems to target a certain group of taxpayer?? These people pay the same tax rates and water/sewer rates.

No need to go into how intentionally vague the proposed ordinance is....


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Old 04-01-2022, 11:00 AM   #24
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It gets better...Same two that want to automate trash pickup.
We've had automatic pickup out west for decades, it's great.

It only requires one person in the truck, not two, which cuts down labor costs and minimizes expensive on the job injury claims arising from repetitive lifting of heavy metal cans by hand.

By report the company that bid on the contract in Laconia also had a problem hiring enough people to do the job manually.

see: https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...52fc37dc1.html
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Old 04-01-2022, 11:58 AM   #25
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The issue at hand here is the who bears the burden of cost for an unfunded government regulation that seems to target a certain group of taxpayer?? These people pay the same tax rates and water/sewer rates.
I agree fairness is an issue and I do not know exactly what is fair in this case.

But it's kind of funny the way you call this an "unfunded government regulation" Can't we all agree that every person should be responsible for processing their own sewage? Some do this via public sewer, some via private septic, but the implication that it's the government's job to fund every sewage issue just seems off in an area where there is not universal public sewer.
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Old 04-01-2022, 12:15 PM   #26
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I agree fairness is an issue and I do not know exactly what is fair in this case.

But it's kind of funny the way you call this an "unfunded government regulation" Can't we all agree that every person should be responsible for processing their own sewage? Some do this via public sewer, some via private septic, but the implication that it's the government's job to fund every sewage issue just seems off in an area where there is not universal public sewer.
A fair compromise might be all pay your own compliance reporting or have the city cover all with the tax base. I suspect an efficient centralized implementation would be the lowest cost to all if done properly. This might leave private septic on the outside; but, for the sake of the lakes; they should insure their system are sufficient to protect these local treasures.
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Old 04-01-2022, 05:24 PM   #27
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City isn't supposed to cover private.
Same thing goes for the roads.

Developers understand what is being given up during the planning and permitting process. The extra initial costs are offset by the profits.
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Old 04-01-2022, 06:56 PM   #28
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City isn't supposed to cover private.
Same thing goes for the roads.

Developers understand what is being given up during the planning and permitting process. The extra initial costs are offset by the profits.
My perception is that Stingray was saying private septic covers their own. No additional contribution from septic owners to cover city sewage.
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Old 04-01-2022, 08:10 PM   #29
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Private septic doesn't cover their own... it feeds into the city system.
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Old 04-01-2022, 08:50 PM   #30
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Private septic doesn't cover their own... it feeds into the city system.
Could you clarify your response?
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Old 04-01-2022, 11:08 PM   #31
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Take SouthDown... it doesn't have a septic and leach field with a greywater system for the storm drains.
It runs through the entire community and then into the main connection to the city of Laconia.

It is a private system up until the connection... but unlike a residence on a city street... the street and the system is private for more than the short distance of a residence on the city street.
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Old 04-02-2022, 05:59 AM   #32
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Thanks for clarifying. The scenario I was thinking of was that of a truly private septic tank and leach field.
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Old 04-02-2022, 06:23 AM   #33
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You know that Route 93 does not drain its' rain water runoff into any local municipal sewer systems. Route 93 has many catch basins installed along the right edge of the break down lane. It was built in 1966-1968. The engineers who designed it, hooked up with drain pipe a small number of catch basins, maybe 3, 4, or 5-catch basins, spaced out over a couple hundred yards and an outflow pipe that sent the runoff water from the road onto an outflow spot that was low and flat and good for draining away the road water runoff without it being hooked into a sewerage system.

Possibly, a subdivision like South Down could reconstruct their catch basins so their road water runoff does not discharge into the local municipal sewer system.
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Old 04-02-2022, 08:46 AM   #34
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Take SouthDown... it doesn't have a septic and leach field with a greywater system for the storm drains.
It runs through the entire community and then into the main connection to the city of Laconia.

It is a private system up until the connection... but unlike a residence on a city street... the street and the system is private for more than the short distance of a residence on the city street.
I think there is a change in the laws. That's one of the reasons why cities are replacing sewage and storm pipes. In the past, cities will tie storm drains into sewage and or sewage tied into storms. As the case in Lakeport on Union Ave. They found a number of them. When they restored the Colonial Theater in Laconia, they found some of the gray water draining into the canal under Canal Street. That was rectified.

So South Down may be in violation. Let's just hope Biden's infrastructure plan can help the HOAs.
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Old 04-02-2022, 01:58 PM   #35
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I don't think they are in violation...
Just need to fill out the reporting forms.

The process is vague... so that they could come up with their own inspection/management plan that worked for them and not have a ''one size fits all''.

They may not have the same needs as something like Briarcrest.
So each will develop their own management plan, and report where they are in that management plan.
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Old 04-02-2022, 02:05 PM   #36
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I don't think they are in violation...

Just need to fill out the reporting forms.

The process is vague... so that they could come up with their own inspection/management plan that worked for them and not have a ''one size fits all''.

They may not have the same needs as something like Briarcrest.

So each will develop their own management plan, and report where they are in that management plan.
Disagree. Inspections must be completed by licensed companies approved by the city and state. Also, inspection are required yearly


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Old 04-02-2022, 02:11 PM   #37
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Not what was presented at the televised public meeting.
Andersen stated that some would inspect a percentage each year...

To me, that means that annual reporting is necessary... while annual inspection is not.

If it was automatically an annual... then it would not be ''vague''.
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Old 04-02-2022, 03:19 PM   #38
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As written, a existing system will require a annual report on its operating status. You can’t issue a report without a annual inspection. You really must read the document before you commit on it!


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Old 04-02-2022, 08:19 PM   #39
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Really?
I can tell you my systems operational status without an annual inspection.
And supply the documents from Rowell's inspection that I have on a three year management plan.

I also watched the public meeting that they taped and broadcast that Woodsy was kind enough to link earlier in the discussion.
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