That is from the last two paragraphs in this weeks Meredith News editorial ( below) regarding the recent panel discussion last Monday evening at the Moultonboro Library. While I can appreciate the gist and intent of the editorial, the line quoted above concerns me. One would think after reading this editorial that we have been sitting back doing nothing.
A committee appointed jointly by the BoS and Planning Board and facilitated by Town Planner Bruce Woodruff, comprised of citizens, board members, selectmen and business owners, met in 2014 over nearly 11 months and produced a report that contained “… a vision for the future of the
Village and recommendations for attaining the vision…” The Selectmen felt so strongly about this topic that it was brought to Town Meeting last March for endorsement by the Legislative body. It will be included in the new Master Plan.
"The Village Vision Committee (hereafter VVC) is charged with study and the preparation of a report, to include a
boundary description of and vision for the future of the Village, as well as recommendations for attaining or achieving
that vision, and to present the report to the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen."
We have provided leadership and direction on both the Selectboard and Planning Board. We have a plan the community endorsed and a way forward. Some may have their own agenda and complain that " nothing is being done" , but the realty is far from nothing.
It is very difficult to build consensus on any major issue, and there is no such thing as 100% agreement, but this time I think we got it right.
C'mon Meredith News. Give us a break!
Bringing life to
Preserving and finding uses for historical
structures has been a theme in many communities.
In the pages of this paper are stories
about an effort in Center Harbor to repurpose
the townhouse, discussions in Moultonborough
about possible ways to attract developers to reuse
its vacant historic buildings, or even the ongoing
efforts by an area company to restore covered
All of these are structures that reflect the
area’s history. All of them were built during
a much different period of time and have had
many different owners and uses. Now many of
these historic structures are sitting vacant and
underused, which leaves a hefty toll in the structures
We applaud all these efforts to try to preserve
find new life for these historical buildings and
structures. These structures reflect the character
and history of the community and it would
be best if uses can be found for them.
Of course, this is never an easy task. Historic
buildings come with the issues of aging and
it costs a lot of money to repair and renovate a
building. There are also the considerations of
bringing a building up to current code and compliance.
There are grants and programs available
through the state and numerous nonprofit
organizations, many of which require matching
funds. Of course different structures need different
attention. The Center Harbor Townhouse
is structurally sound and while the Moultonborough
Grange is not as stable. It also means that
the clock is ticking on many of these structures.
There is also the major consideration of what
they could be used for. This issue was discussed
in detail at a recent presentation in Moultonborough.
Many communities across the state have
had their older structures repurposed for businesses,
residencies, municipal use, or many other
purposes. The question is how can a developer
find these buildings attractive enough to renovate
instead of building new.
This use of Moultonborough’s structures also
ties in with the ongoing and much-debated topic
of what the village center should be like. There
have been numerous studies and surveys on
what people want to see for the village, though
there have been only a few initiatives to do something.
One possible option that came up was the formation
of a community or economic development
group in Moultonborough. One such group
was formed in Center Harbor to attract businesses
and visitors to town. This is something people
in Moultonborough should consider forming.
The Center Harbor Community Development
Group has done activities such as organizing
community events, creating a map of local
businesses, offering technology workshops, and
many other simple and meaningful activities.
These could be the first baby steps Moultonborough
needs to start building community and
helping to determine what the townspeople want
to see in their village.
As members of the historic buildings panel
said such projects require leaders to take the initiative.
Such action could lead to more community
vibrancy and more ideas and possible ways
to bring that life back into its historic buildings.