Rochester-Middleboro water connection unofficially accepted

Jan 23, 2018

An agreement between Middleboro and Rochester will allow an assisted-living home on North Avenue receive water from Middleboro—as well as provide an extension of fire hydrants into Rochester.

Water Commissioner Fred Underhill said that he had been working on the deal, which will provide the Annie Maxim Home at 706 North Avenue with water from Middleboro, for five or six years.

Although Underhill said Middleboro has always been receptive to the arrangement, approval of it was stalled as a number of Rochester Town Planners came and went.

Now an inter-municipal water agreement has been formed and Underhill said it is still agreeable to Middleboro's town government. The agreement to send water to the Annie Maxim Home was approved by Middleboro voters in a Special Town Meeting held last October.

Rochester's selectmen were pleased with the agreement, and applauded Underhill on the achievement. While happy with the wording, they chose not to formally approve the agreement until their February 5 meeting.

"This is the first time the public will be hearing about it," Selectman Woody Hartley said. "They might have some questions."

Those with questions or concerns about the agreement can visit Rochester's Town Hall to see the documents or ask for clarification.

According to Underhill, the agreement shouldn't cost Rochester much. The Annie Maxim Home will pay for engineering and construction of a 12-inch water pipe to draw the water.

"We have a $5,000 budget, we'll probably fund the cost of some of the fire hydrants to say that we have more of a stake in the project if we ever need to in the future," he explained.

Underhill was certain that the agreement would help Rochester residents, as the agreement could be another source of water should Middleboro ever be granted a license to draw more water. He also noted that the fire hydrants, which would extend about 700 feet into Rochester from the Annie Maxim Home, would provide Rochester's Fire Department with more water should they ever need to fight fires in the area.