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

Monday, May 8, 2017

Heritage Commission to Inspect Town Owned Historic Buildings

Piecing together what the BoS spoke about last Thursday and the Heritage Commission draft minutes from their meeting a few days prior, it would seem that the plan is to inspect all town- owned historic buildings, including the Taylor building.
Per the BoS April 27th minutes "It was agreed that because of the interest the Heritage Commission expressed in preserving the building ( Taylor building)  at a meeting this winter that the Commission be given a window of time to come up with a proposed use or uses for the property that are appropriate for the village area." The Heritage Commission minutes stated that "(Selectman)Joel Mudgett will facilitate inspections of the town-owned historic buildings (Taylor House, Moultonborough Town House, Middle Neck School) by the end of May."
Selectman Mudgett reported that the Heritage Commission will look at finding available funds to evaluate these properties.
The Heritage Commission also discussed the Grange Hall which continues to deteriorate. No repairs have been made since the emergency roof stabilization in 2012. The Grange Hall is owned by the Moultonborough Historical Society.
Numerous historical buildings in the village are in various states of disrepair, town owned and privately owned, and anythings the Heritage Commission can do to facilitate or instigate some activity in improving these buildings is a plus for the town.
Committees need to talk to each other to better understand what each is working on and how they can better work toward some common goals. The BoS tried for a few years to facilitate a convention of town committees, which petered out this year due to lack of interest from many committees. The village will continue to stagnate without some coordinated effort and coordinated planning.
Not having a full  time Town Planner  has also been detrimental in many ways, and in this particular area it has been glaring. These days, qualified candidates are hard to come by, but lets hope we can get one on board very soon.
We can continue to do nothing in the village until the sills of these old buildings rot away and the walls buckle out and the roofs collapse,  or we can decide to be proactive and define some specific, actionable steps that lead to an end result that will enhance the village. If we don't take a step forward, we will always be in the same place.


Fred Van Magness said...

I read with interest your article. After reading, I went to the Heritage Commission web site and read a very thorough Bedard report on the condition of the Grange Hall, prepared in December, 2012. After 4 1/2 years, what has actually happened? In reading their annual reports, I find no substantive repairs noted. Why? Surely lack of funds is an issue, but if this is an important town asset, why isn't the town funding repairs? Indeed, it is not owned by the town but I surmise a 501c type entity. If we can make hearts and flowers donations at Town Meeting, maybe this building needs a little heart and flower effort for long term preservation. Maybe the town needs to assume ownership but have the Historical Society perform the overall operation. This leads me to the other town facilities that are in need of an assessment. Seems that the best way to accomplish this is to hire an engineer to evaluate each facility like the Bedard report. Again, why isn't the BOS or town taking on this effort to have a non biased report prepared rather than pushing it off to the Heritage Committee? I see there is a lot of disjointed efforts and committees. It is time for the town to sit down and figure out a long term plan of action.

Anonymous said...

Historical Society has not shown any interest (e.g., repairs, fund-raising efforts) in the Grange. We all know the fate of abandoned buildings, deterioration and then tearing down due to safety - all just a matter of time. With no funds to repair/restore the Grange, then who will pay for the demolition (note: emergency item for Town meeting)? And why, in the first place, was the Historical Society Board willing to become the caretaker of the Grange?