Federal funds go to sewer project

Congress sent a nice check of $850,000 to the city of Nashua for wastewater and sewage improvements.

The announcement came in a laundry list of New Hampshire projects supported by U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass that were approved as part of the behemoth Omnibus Appropriations Act.

City Engineer Stephen Dookran said the money will go to the city’s ongoing separation of combined storm-water and household sewer lines.

The money requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get involved in the project so it complies with the Environmental Protection Agency mandate to improve the wastewater dumped into the Merrimack River, Dookran said.

Calendar concerns

A $10 calendar for the Nashua Firefighters Relief Association has received mixed reviews.

Some question the professionalism of the department to display its members as pinups. One person, who demanded anonymity, looked at “Mr. November” as eye candy.

Alderman-at-Large Jim Tollner weighed in at the Board of Aldermen meeting by saying there wasn’t too much “beefcake” in the promotion.

The money helps the association raise money to lend a hand to firefighters in times of crisis, whether financial or otherwise.

Patriotic Employer

Scott Pollock, superintendent of the Street Department, has received thanks from a grateful U.S. Department of Defense.

The Armed Forces recognized Pollock and the city as a Patriotic Employer.

The city was nominated by guardsman Francis Hyland, a Nashua resident and a worker in the department. Hyland is stationed in Iraq.

Pollock said the award is deserved by Hyland’s co-workers and the city for the package they put together for employees deployed in service to the country. The award was given by the National Committee of the Department of Defense Employer Support of Guard and Reserve.

Pollock said the award is given in recognition for the benefits offered by the city to Hyland. The city makes up the difference in pay between a worker’s civilian pay and military pay and continues the health benefits for the worker’s family, he said.

Pollock said it is a good package to help ease the financial concerns of families.

Christmas bonus

Food-service employees in the school cafeterias breathed a sigh of relief as aldermen approved their contract, raising some of the salaries to $9.30 an hour.

Jackie McKnight, president of the Nashua Teachers Union, said she was pleased by the decision, considering the problem other contracts have met in front of the Board of Aldermen.

The vote was 9-5 to pass the contract, with one abstention.

PC address

First it was Devilwood Drive; now the name of another city street is being changed because of its connotations. The street in question is Poisson Avenue.

Ward 8 Alderman David MacLaughlin is asking his colleagues to change the name of the short street in south Nashua. It is a dead-end street off Daniel Webster Highway. Some might get the unfortunate and wrong idea that the name is associated with the nearby chemical plant and mispronounce it as “poison.” Francophiles here know the name as the word for fish.

Instead, the three properties that use the street for a mail address would be located on Skyventure Way, named for the body-flight business that is scheduled to open there next fall.

Under the microscope

Nominees for a little-known city board received some rough handling for their volunteer efforts.

Dolly Bellavance, a former division director, withdrew her name from consideration after being grilled by aldermen on the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee.

Aldermen questioned whether she could be a fair judge sitting on the Personnel Advisory Board, which hears appeals of merit employee disciplinary actions, since she knows so many people and worked for the city so long.

Another nominee for the board is Leigh Bodington, a human-resources executive at Hewlett-Packard.

During his appearance before the committee, he was quizzed for not living in Nashua. He recently moved to Manchester after living here for nearly 16 years.

The Board of Aldermen defeated his nomination and it was sent back to the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee for further discussion.