"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What to Do With the Carroll County Farm Land? Public Hearing in Moultonboro This Saturday

This is one of three meetings scheduled around the county. I seem to recall some members of our delegation swearing that they had no intention and no plans to sell the county farmland as they pushed to shut down the farm.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Kanasatka Sub-Division Approved

In a follow-up to this post on the proposed subdivision on Lake Kanasatka, the Planning Board last Wednesday approved a significantly revised plan that will both protect the lake and not add to the traffic problems in that area of Route 25.
Per the Planning Board draft minutes of September 13th,  the revised plan reduces the curb cuts from three to two with an interior private road and a stormwater management plan that exceeds the requirements of our ordinance.
Not long after the approval, for sale signs were posted on the lots.
The Planning Board and new Town Planner Bob Ward did a good job addressing the traffic issues, protecting the lake and at the same time,  not hinder the developer/property owners ability to create a successful project.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Moultonboro Thanks Its Volunteers

The Moultonboro BoS hosted the annual volunteer thank you luncheon at Camp Robindel today. Over 40 town residents who volunteer their time and talent from helping with the Community Garden to sitting on a Land Use Board attended.
 Towns cannot function without volunteers and Moultonboro is blessed with so many dedicated residents.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Town Owned French-Taylor Property Disposition Still in Limbo

The Heritage Commission came before the BoS on Thursday to update them on the Building Condition Assessment report for the Taylor House and some possible next steps.
A grant is possible from the NH Preservation Alliance/LCHIP grant committee, who will review the report. There is also the possibility of a grant for a feasibility/re-use study. 
There was also a discussion about roof damage caused by the March election day snow storm. The insurance payout to repair the damaged side of the roof is about $6,900. The cost to reshingle the roof on the main building and the ell is estimated to be between $12-$14 thousand. 
The decision point for the BoS last night was whether to not fix the roof at all, fix just the damaged part or reshingle it on both sides. The BoS decided to put out an RFP for bids on both reshingling the damaged portion and also the full roof over the main building as well as the ell. At some point in the near future before the snow flies, a decision will need to be made as to what course of action the town will take.
There is a bigger picture here that has to be drawn tho before anything is done that can't be undone. 
At some point, the BoS have to make the decision on what to do with the building, but it should be based upon a tangible and clear use of the property as a whole. That does not yet exist.
I have long said that we need a physical picture of what the entire parcel could be used for and what it could look like...but a decision on its overall use has to be made and the BoS need to make it.
 (It should be noted that voters at 2017 Town Meeting easily defeated a petitioned article seeking to rescind the BoS from selling or buying property or buildings. That option could still be on the table as is a possible subdivision of the lot.)

To get there, however, should not be a sprint nor a marathon, but maybe a 10K. There was some arguing back and forth about whether the town is moving too fast or too slow historically, and I think probably both have been true depending upon the matter at hand. In the end, it really doesn't matter. What difference does it make so long as the right decision is made?

What was proposed to the CIPC by town administration is significant funding ( $250K) to conduct a community evaluation and use study of the property with engineering and preliminary design for what is being proposed. I think that is the proper and ultimately decisive means to bring this ongoing discussion to a conclusion. Take as much community input as can be gathered and have professionals present the possibilities to the BoS. At that point, the BoS should decide the direction and go to the town for whatever funding will be needed to accomplish the plan. It will probably take to 2019 or more to get to that point, but that is not forever in terms of town projects.
In the interim, put new shingles on the full Taylor roof, stabilize it as well as it can be, and at such time as a plan for the entire property is in place, the BoS can decide whether that will either include the building or not.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Moultonboro Recreation Departments Dan Sturgeon, Awarded the Don Heyliger Young Professional Award

Congratulations to Moultonboro's Dan Sturgeon, Assistant Director & Youth Sport Coordinator at our Recreation Department,  who was awarded the Don Heyliger Young Professional Award at the recent New Hampshire Recreation and Parks Association Conference.
As per the NHRPA website:
Don E. Heyliger (1939-1988 ) Donald “Don” Heyliger, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Dover at the time of his death, was respected and appreciated by many young professionals who, during their student years, worked as interns and part-time employees in the Dover recreation system.
A number of his protégés went on to full-time recreation professional positions in the cities and towns of New Hampshire. Don was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, graduated from Springfield College in 1961, taught and coached in Massachusetts public schools, and earned a Masters Degree at the University of Massachusetts in 1969. He then came to New Hampshire where he became assistant professor of physical education at the University of New Hampshire and coached men’s varsity soccer. Don became Director of Parks and Recreation in Dover in 1976.
Don Heyliger served as President of the New Hampshire Recreation Society during 1985-86. He was greatly respected by his colleagues statewide and was close to other recreation professionals in the seacoast area. He was also active in and served on the boards of directors of other civic and professional associations.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Paying County Tax Twice Per Year Would Save Taxpayers $250K

At the Carroll County Commissioner's August 23rd meeting, they discussed a letter sent to all towns in Carroll County seeking input on the willingness of the towns to collect and pay taxes twice per year to the county instead of once. Below is a summary of the responses. Of note is that the two largest payers, Moultonboro and Wolfeboro, did not receive letters as of the meeting. Our two towns pay more than 38% of the county tax bill. The county borrows money every year in Tax Anticipation Notes ( TAN) to cover expenses for the year as they currently collect taxes in the last quarter of the year. The interest on the loan is about $250,000 per year. If the county collects the taxes twice per year, TAN loans could be avoided.
Additional letters were to be sent to the towns to once again seek responses.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Just a Pile of Rubble

As a follow up to raising the roof, all that is left of the Country Fare Inn is in the end, just a pile of rubble. Sad, and though something new and needed in this town is coming in its place, pretty soon when giving directions, you will be able to say something like " turn left where the old Country Fare used to be".

Friday, September 8, 2017

Letters of Support Needed for Conservation Commission Moose Plate Grant Request.

Chair of the Conservation Commission, Marie Samaha, came before the BoS last evening to obtain approval to apply for a Moose Plate Grant  to help fund the continuing effort to purchase and conserve the Moultonboro Falls Conservation area. The purchase price is $287K and they have to date raised $114K including an LCHIP grant. $172K is still needed and after purchase would like to raise an additional $48K to fund projects such as parking and walking trails. 
The ConCom needs your help. If you are a supporter of their work, please send a brief letter of support to Town Hall no later than Monday, Sept. 11th. An email to Town Administrator Walter Johnson would count but include your full name and address on it. The more letters of support, the greater the chance of receiving a grant.
According to mooseplate.com : Funds from Moose Plate sales support a wide variety of conservation and preservation programs, including planting wildflowers along New Hampshire highways, studying threatened plant and animal species, securing conservation easements and preserving publicly owned historic properties.f
Every dollar raised through the NH Moose Conservation and Heritage License Plate program goes directly to supporting designated programs in New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Country Fare Raises the Roof

In a slow but well-done process, the former Country Fare Inn at the corner of Rt 25 and Old 109 had its roof removed to salvage many of the 150-year-old beams.
I spoke with Steve Bradley, the property owner, and developer. The beams to be salvaged will be reused in the "barn" like part of the new office/restaurant building to be constructed on the footprint of the Berry Pond motel.
Per Mr. Bradley, the attic portion of the building contains the only usable old beams and he is also going to use some old barn beams from other properties to complete the look.
The gazebo seen in a picture below will be placed back near its original location when construction is completed.
The remainder of the building is set for demolition.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Timeline to 2018 Town Meeting

Still 7 months away, but there are many things along the way subject to a statutory timeline.
One date to mark on your calendar: Saturday March 17th is Town Meeting day.
February 6th is the last day to file petitioned warrant articles.
Also, and not on the timeline, the period to file for candidacy for local elected office is Wednesday January 24th through Friday, February 2nd.