Sunday, August 31, 2014

Former Dam Ice Cream Shop now Chocorua Park

Maybe they should call it the "dam" park?
 In the last Village Vision committee, audience member Nancy Wright mentioned this new park when she was up in that area the weekend before. I drove up to have a look and it is still a work in progress, but one can see the possibilities.
The Dam Ice Cream shop property was bought by resident Peter Smart in an effort to protect the dam which is in serious disrepair and in danger of being abandoned and drained. The dam itself is owned by an abutter who is trying to sell.
The property was bought with private funds and the work to build the new park was done by volunteers. The vision was to create a public green space.
The area is not the quietest and the traffic on Rt 16 is at least comparable to our own Rt 25. Crossing the road is also a problem with so many cars and two intersections.
Much more info on this transformation can be found here on the Chocorua Park Facebook page and this article in the Conway Daily Sun.


This is the site where the "Dam Ice Cream Shop was  located

















The Dam Ice Cream Shop just before demolition


Entrance to the new park on Rt. 16 looking north. Note the old style looking street
lamps and the little patches of brick. It is a theme carried through the entire area. 





Park bench under a street lamp on Rt 16.


Stairs down to the park accessed from the sidewalk. 





Nice view of the dam and the water sounds drown out the traffic noise





Looking south on Rt 16 toward Ossipee. Note the brick divider on the left .
 Approximately 15 parking spaces were carved out
along Rt 16.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Carroll County Sheriff Race

I posed a question to Shawn Coope who is running for Carroll County Sheriff in response to his statement at a recent meeting that he could cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Sheriff's department budget. How will you do it was my specific request. I forwarded this response to Sheriff Richiardi who is seeking re-election and await his response.  Here is a link to the article in the Conway Daily Sun mentioned below.
As there are no other candidates for this office, the winner of the September 9th primary will be assured to be the next Sheriff of Carroll County.
Of interest is that there was a Sheriff & Dispatch sub committee that met  August  26th 2013 ( minutes can be found here) February 17th  2014 ( minutes can be found here ) , March 11th 2014 ( minutes can be found here) as well as March 20th 2014 ( minutes can be found here).
Video for most of those meetings can be found  on GovernmentOversite.Com.

Lastly, Mr. Coope has asked to attend our next BoS meeting on September 4th at 7pm to introduce himself.

Shawn J Coope has responded to your question posed on Democracy.com:
"Hi Paul, Thanks for the interest and the question. My goal is to actually do much better than that. The Conway Daily Sun ran a "meet the Candidates" article on my race. It is a great read, I think it would tell you all you need to know. If you like what you see please pass it around. What I do no is that it took me just a short period of time as a candidate to realize that our budget is much higher when compared to our peers. The sheriff's budget here in Carroll County is about 2.6 million and serves about 48,000 people. Belknap manages to serve 63,000 with a budget of around 1.9 million, close to a $700,000 difference. Grafton County serves a population of 82,000 with a budget that is $300,000 less than ours. and Strafford County serves a population of 124,000 with a budget of just 2.2 million. Sullivan County has a population directly in line with us and has just a staff of five, that's including the sheriff, Sheriff Richardi says he requires 12, more than double. Based on my experience and training I am certain that I can make cuts that bring us in line with our peers while actually improving performance. I just spent the last two days in Moultonboro walking into various businesses. I would also encourage you to speak with your police chief, I think you will like what he will say. In closing I hope this answers your question. I would love to speak with you, my office number is 515 - 1363. I look forward to hearing from you........Shawn"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scenic Vistas

This is an add on to the previous post as there was also a discussion of scenic vistas last evening. I have heard many times about how important it is to maintain our rural character and uniqueness and we are in fact right now rewriting the Transportation and Land Use chapters of the Master Plan. The NH OEP ( Office of Energy and Planning) has an excellent article on ways to accomplish this. I am not advocating any taking of property rights or getting into the view tax debate, but thinking only of innovative ways to protect as much of our natural beauty as we can. Let me give one example: the wind towers in Groton. Hard to miss as you drive into Plymouth. A beautiful mountain ridge with very large structures all along the top and owned by a foreign company, Iberdrola.  Here is part of the NH OEP article:

"Residents of a community have thoughts and ideas about what makes their surroundings and community visually important and attractive. They generally enjoy views of open fields, farm settings, mountain vistas, water views and tree shaded streets, qualities that make people feel positive about their environment. The challenge is to preserve these visual attributes while working them into our future development. The following suggests a process for: 

  •  Identifying scenic areas in a community 
  • Providing a clear statement in the master plan about goals for preservation of scenic values, and
  • Incorporating specific policies into the zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and site plan review regulations that will enhance the aesthetic qualities that define the community and make it unique."

Scenic Byway or Scenic Road?

The following is from the NH DOT website. This topic came up last evening at the Master Plan transportation chapter focus group. In addition to addressing transportation problems such as problem intersections and Rt 25 traffic, we should also address preserving and maintaining ( perhaps promoting) our scenic and rural beauty. 
Scenic Byway or Scenic Road?
What is the difference between a Scenic Byway and a Scenic Road? Are Scenic Roads a type of Scenic Byway? These questions have come up quite often in the past couple of years. With this in mind, the following is a summary of the main points of each designation. Also, check out the State of New Hampshire's Web site for links to the legislation for each program.
Scenic Byways
The New Hampshire Scenic and Cultural Byways Program was established in 1992 under RSA 238:19, "… to provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to travel a system of byways which feature the scenic and cultural qualities of the state within the existing highway system, promote retention of rural and urban scenic byways, support the cultural, recreational and historic attributes along these byways, and expose the unique elements of the state's beauty, culture and history." The legislation established the program and the Scenic and Cultural Byways Council to serve as an advisory body for the Scenic and Cultural Byway System. The administration of the program is through the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance. The New Hampshire Scenic Byway state coordinator is William Rose and he can be reached by e-mail at wrose@dot.state.nh.us.
New Hampshire's Scenic and Cultural Byways program is one of many now in place nationwide. These statewide programs are tied directly to the National Scenic Byways Program. There are three categories of byways under the National Scenic Byways Program; two are nationally designated categories, the third is a state designation.
All-American Roads are the cream of the crop, representing a handful of the Nation's top roadways. National Scenic Byways, the second group of nationally designated byways, represent roadways that are destinations in themselves and deserve national recognition for the intrinsic values they feature. There are about 53 National Scenic Byways in all, three located in New Hampshire (White Mountains Trail, Kancamagus Highway, and Connecticut River Byway). The third group consists of state designated byways (i.e. Coastal Byway, Moose Path Trail, Lakes Tour). These byways fit requirements set by the Scenic and Cultural Byway Council for inclusion in the statewide network. Some state designated byways go on to become National Scenic Byways as efforts progress along the byway. The White Mountains Trail was originally listed as a State Scenic and Cultural Byway, and after a great deal of effort, was nominated and accepted as a National Scenic Byway in 1998.
Scenic Roads
New Hampshire also has RSA 231:157 on the books, which allows the establishment of Scenic Roads. Scenic Roads are substantially different from Scenic and Cultural Byways. Scenic Roads are local, town designations. These roadways are only recognized locally, cannot be on Class I or II roads, and are not specifically part of a statewide system.
The RSA says that any road in a town, other than a Class I or Class II highway, may be designated as a Scenic Road upon petition of 10 persons who are either voters of the town or who own land that abuts a road mentioned in the petition. All abutters of the road must be notified within 10 days of the filing that a Scenic Road petition has been filed. Upon approval of this petition, the voters of the town may designate the road as a Scenic Road at any annual or special meeting. Similarly, a Scenic Road may also be un-designated at any annual or special meeting.
Designation as a Scenic Road means that repair, maintenance, and reconstruction work to the roadway should not involve the cutting or removal of trees (defined as 15 inches in diameter or more) or the tearing down or destruction of stone walls without prior written consent of the planning board or board responsible for the local Scenic Roads program. The RSA also goes on to say that designation of a roadway does not affect the rights of any abutting landowners on their property, and does not affect the eligibility of the town to receive construction, maintenance, or reconstruction aid.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Village Vision Committee Continues to Move Forward

A full committee met last night and progress continues to be made. Report format and outline has been somewhat defined and if all goes well, there should be a report in front of the BoS and Planning Board ( as well as the public) by early January. The next meeting is scheduled for September 9th at 7pm to gain some consensus on the outline of a vision and work to follow may include some graphic design and possibly even a landscape plan. The survey is also expected to be mailed out in the near future and as I understand it, will include a stamped self addressed envelope to return it. No firm date has been set yet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Moultonboro Selectmen Meeting August 21st 2014

Video of the BoS meeting of August 21st 2014 can be found here on the Town website.

Some highlights: The BoS approved by a 3-2 vote  to amend the ABC charge. The ABC charge had previously included a review and comment of the collective bargaining agreement for the School District. The amended charge includes review of the "governing bodies" ( Town and School Board) CBA's after they have been negotiated since the Town now has the Moultonborough PD union.
There was extensive discussion of the role of the ABC in voting on all warrant articles vs. just those that are monetary articles. The charge specifies all warrant articles appearing on the Town and School warrant articles.
The ABC issue was followed by a lengthy discussion of the proposed UNH BRC feasibility study. A major issue was about the focus groups being open to the public to observe. I was strongly in favor of keeping the session open, but the BoS voted to keep the groups in closed session by a 4 to 1 vote. In addition, the School Superintendent will be invited to be part of the "oversight" team to include a member of the RAB, Recreation Director, Town Administrator, School Board member, and BoS member. I will represent the BoS with Joel Mudget as alternate.

A few more reminders

I forgot to mention in the previous post that the CIPC public hearing will be held in the Library program room.
And....there will be a Master Plan Transportation issues focus group on Wednesday at  5pm Town Hall

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The week ahead

On Tuesday, the Village Vision Committee will meet at 7pm in Town Hall.  According to the agenda , they are expected to discuss the Draft Guiding Principles document ,the gym site study progress and relationship to the Village Vision ,report preparation and the survey status
The BoS will have a work session at 4pm in Town Hall on Thursday, followed at 7pm with the CIPC Public Hearing. CIPC documents can be found here on the Town website.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Study: Taylor property best site for possible gym" ?? Meredtith News August 21st 2014

To begin, I do appreciate that the Meredith News did provide coverage of some recent Moultonboro meetings , front page no less, but the headline is not quite accurate. The article that follows the headline does explain that the final decision was to use only part of the Taylor property, but the impression picking up the paper was just the opposite.
Purchasing the Taylor property was somewhat contentious and the selectboard at the time was clear that no plans were in place for the property if we purchased it, so the last thing the public would want to hear just 5 months later would be that it was chosen as the best site for the proposed gym. It wasn't. The BRC site study team was very clear that preserving the property for some future was important, and we wanted to minimize the use of it as much as possible. The final approved plan includes the back part of the Taylor property for some parking and a sliver for a possible access road to Rt. 25. The entirety of the building foot print is on the adjacent school property.