A lively well attended meeting. Most of the crowd was there due to a recent request from a resident near Colby Road who wanted changes made to the signage recently approved. Colby Road is a "range way" and terminates at the lake. It is a public access but is not a public beach or boat launch. The selectmen approved new signage for the area in August of this year, but one resident ( who brought his attorney) had issues with wording in the new sign " no lifeguard on duty" which implied it was a public beach. Most of the other attendees wanted to be assured that the access would not be restricted and reminded the BoS that it was open to the public to access the lake. The signage approved back in August 2013 stated that "no power launching or recovery of power craft and no lifeguard on duty/swim at your own risk" The wording also include the term "Colby Range Facility". After an hour or so of discussion it was resolved to everyone's satisfaction with the removal of one word from the sign: facility. A survey of the road will also be made to ensure it is properly marked and no encroachments exist.
Prior to this, the continued public hearing for the potential purchase of the Taylor property was held.
I spoke of supporting the purchase if it was to be used in a manner similar to that of the Bank of NH and other adjacent properties and perhaps the town should first fund a study of what the overall condition of the building was and what would be involved to restore it. I presented to the BoS an old photo of the property before the second story was added and Rt,.25 was a dirt road. I reminded the BoS that this is what the town used to look like and is the rural character we want to maintain. Bud Heinrich spoke of the potential issues of water quality and that the school has not been clear on it's interest in the property and that the Conservation Commission saw no land conservation value for it. " I feel we are giving you a blank check" he said. A letter from the Heritage Commission was read into the record supporting the purchase. Hollis Austin suggested that the town divest other property if it wants to purchase the Taylor parcel.
At the very end, Hollis Austin questioned the BoS on whether they had any lessons learned from the recent hearing to remove two Planning Board members and if they planned to change anything in light of what had transpired. He has heard that people believe that the process left open the question that the two PB members must have done something wrong. Nancy Wright agreed and stated that only three BoS apologized. Selectmen Russ Wakefield stated he heard the opposite, which was that the hearings did not go far enough.
At 9:30PM, all agreed that the meeting had gone far enough and the BoS mercifully called it a night.
Videos coming soon. Thank you Hollis for taping it.