In a spirited discussion, the joint BoS and School Board were not able to decide on a location for an additional access road in the event that the Academy cannot be accessed through Blake Road.
The recommend proposal from our DPW Director was a gravel road along the property line of the town owned Taylor property with the Bank of New Hampshire. There is already a curb cut for the existing driveway and since it will be a gated access, only for emergency use, it should not be a major problem for the NH DOT if their approval is even required. The barrier that remains though, is the disposition of the Taylor property overall, and not placing any encumbrances on the future use.
Many, myself included, would like to see a town common in the open area carved out, ( there are about 5 acres overall) as it is the only real green space in the village. A little park with some simple amenities would go a long way to continue to revive the village center. The property can be easily subdivided, but some decisions will need to be made about the building itself. Maybe a public/private partnership? These are just my own opinions of course.
The ball will fall on the BoS. As Chairman Chris Shipp indicated, the BoS need to to make a decision as to what to do with the property, before the final decision on an access road can be made.
There was some discussion about accessing the Academy through an undefined right of way cutting between two residential properties and out to Old 109, very near the Lee Road intersection. That would require about a half mile long road to get to the back of the Academy, cutting through very swampy terrain and require a great deal more expense.
In addition, the idea of a secondary road to alleviate Rt 25 traffic was discussed. My concern is that we have tried to calm traffic and speed on Old 109 and a secondary road would be quite harmful to that purpose. Where would the traffic go? It may ease traffic on Rt 25, but divert the problem to Old 109 and Lee Road where it would be dangerous.
In should be noted that the Academy was built in 1979 on two parcels of land ( 85 acres and 4 acres) conveyed by Harold and Phoebe Mohr for minimal consideration, to the Moultonborough School District. At the time, and anecdotally, I was told that the current Bank of NH property was offered to the Town, but was not accepted. It was indicated last night that the School District paid $7.5 million for the property in 1994 which is incorrect. The School District land is assessed at $134,000 and the remainder of the almost $7.5 million are the buildings and improvements made over the years.