Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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August 29, 2013

After starts and stops, a new era flows in Andover

(Continued)

A second special Town Meeting was set for Monday afternoon, Feb. 13, 1888. On the agenda was the report of the Water Committee, election of water commissioners and application to the Legislature to “increase the town’s power to issue bonds.” While light in attendance, the voters nevertheless supported all measures.

At the regular Town Meeting that followed in March, John H. Flint and James P. Butterfield, who both went on to become selectmen, joined Felix G. Haynes in being appointed water commissioners. Their charge was to study and recommend which of the four schemes proposed by the engineers was the best for the town to adopt.

At yet another special Town Meeting on April 12, 1889, the commissioners issued their report and the voters officially selected Haggetts Pond as their source preference. (Only one voter objected.) Meanwhile, the Legislature passed the act to grant Andover the authority to raise the necessary monies.

With many other decisions to be made and the issue still not settled, another editorial appeared: “Andover as a town has been slow and conservative to a fault in those matters of municipal necessity and convenience, which every enlightened and progressive community now affords. But with a population of over 6,000 and the marked tendency to growth and expansion so apparent about the main village, we cannot longer stand still.... It will be well for us to recognize the fact and wisely use our opportunities.”

Another special Town Meeting in June seemed to put the main question to bed. By a vote of 106 to 28, $150,000 was appropriated for the purpose of introducing and establishing the system.

By November 1889, the first of the “Andover Water Works” had been drawn up, and the system of piping valves and hydrants laid out. A pumping station was designed with the modern George F. Blake Pump and a reservoir laid out. In 1890, water flowed and Andover entered a new era.

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