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Church members identify need for a community center

Board sets schedule for 2013 budget review meetings in October

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
September 13, 2012
WOLFEBORO — A delegation from All Saints' Episcopal Church, including Interim Rector Ted Rice, came to the Sept. 5 selectmen's meeting to bring to the board's attention problems in the community.

The church's Senior Warden Lee White addressed the board during Public Comment. He said the church wanted to go on record about two interrelated problems. Because there is no community center in the area, All Saints' Church has tried to make up for that. He said that 19 separate groups make use of church facilities "to carry on functions that directly or indirectly contribute to the well being of our community. We are proud to provide this service."

The church has also had an open door policy. "We keep our building always open for prayer and public use. Because of recent events we have to reconsider that policy." In recent months several people have been using the building for shelter without prior permission and some have trashed it. On Aug. 17 someone broke into the locked church office by punching a hole in the wall, took the Thrift Shop checkbook and forged a check. The church now finds it need to change how to get access to the building.

White said the related problem is the lack of a local shelter for the homeless and disenfranchised. In the past the church has provided temporary shelter to individuals on a limited basis. "We are not licensed nor do we wish to become a permanent shelter," White said. "Communities in the area should be working together to find a solution to this problem," he said. "We all need to put our heads together to solve it."

Selectmen thanked White and the delegation for bringing these matters to the board's attention.

Library card signup month

Joyce Davis gave a presentation on National Library Card Signup Month in September. The Wolfeboro library is participating in this program with the goal of adding 100 new members to its other 5,900 card carriers. Posters have been posted at 50 locations around town, but the library also wants to set up a table in front of Town Hall by the auditorium stairs two or three times in the afternoon. Selectmen approved the request.

Selectman Dave Bowers, who is also the board's liaison to the library trustees, also offered the use of his parking lot next to Cate Park.

Public hearings

Selectmen held a public hearing on accepting a $5,000 grant for milfoil eradication from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Milfoil Committee Chair Ken Marschner said that after 21 days of milfoil harvesting in Back Bay this summer, it was clear that because the milfoil was growing so aggressively, additional days of harvesting were needed to block the spread to Wolfeboro Bay. The $5,000 grant will make that possible. No objections were heard and acceptance of the grant was approved.

There was also a public hearing on acceptance of a gift of Native American artifacts from the estate of J.C. Klinck by the Libby Museum. Museum Director Lauren Hammond said she met with Jay Klinck a year ago, before he died, to review the 43 items in the collection, which are Inuit in origin and thus not local, though they do tie in with the existing collection. The artifacts are valued at $7,500. Klinck's wish was to keep the collection together and have it shown at the Libby.

Bowers said, based on his experience with other museums, that standard procedure is to keep donated artifacts for two years and not guarantee that the museum will keep or display them thereafter: in other words, "no strings attached." He asked if the artifacts fit the Libby collection. Hammond said the Libby collection was eclectic and included a number of non-local objects like the zebra. She said she would not buy Inuit artifacts, but these were offered as a gift. She added that there is no mission statement for the museum to guide collection development.

Selectmen Chair Linda Murray asked what objects might be displaced if the artifacts were accepted.

Hammond said there would be no displacement because the museum has space.

Murray said selectmen, as Libby trustees, should work on a collections policy.

Selectman Sarah Silk proposed continuing the public hearing to the Sept. 19 meeting to allow time to see if donating without conditions attached was acceptable to the estate.

Mailboat landing permit

Sandy McKenzie has submitting an application for a boat landing permit, as requested, to bring his mailboat into compliance with town regulations, Town Manager Dave Owen said. However, a large sign offering rides on the boat has been installed without permission on the town dock.

Selectman Dave Senecal said the landing permit was "convoluted." "The applicant does not own the boat and the town has had problems in the past." He said the agreement should be with the boat's owner, Dive Winnipesaukee, and that there was no lease agreement between McKenzie and Dive Winnipesaukee. He moved to table the matter until the next meeting.

Murray agreed with the tabling but pointed out the matter should not be placed on the agenda if the sign, lease, and owner application issues are not addressed.

Budget meeting dates

Selectmen will be holding seven meetings devoted to reviewing the 2013 town budget: on Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:15 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m.; and Monday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m. If needed, an eighth meeting would be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m. Locations of meetings will be announced.

Selectmen will also receive budget requests from nonprofit organizations providing services to town residents during the regular selectmen's meeting on Sept. 19.

Other business

Selectmen approved an application to the state to declare Wolfeboro Business Park (where Wickers and GI Plastek are located) an Economic Revitalization Zone. That designation will allow companies increasing jobs in the zone by moving there or redeveloping a site to receive tax credits. There are seven lots, of which three are available for development.

Charles Weibel of the town Economic Development Committee reviewed plans to expand the EDC pages on the town website. He said that 95 percent of location searches are done online and the new pages will stress that Wolfeboro is a year-round active community and encourage meeting with Town Planner Rob Houseman and the EDC.

The board held a public hearing on a proposed boat trailer parking area for island residents and also discussed a potential water rate increase with Public Works Director Dave Ford. See separate stories on these topics.

Selectmen appointed Michael Connelly, CEO of Huggins Hospital, and Zach Tarter of Edward Jones to the town Economic Development Committee, for terms of two and three years respectively.

Marc Martin was appointed to the Milfoil Committee for two years. Committee Chair Marschner said Martin was very helpful in the milfoil harvest this year, providing space of the DASH boat for 21 days.

The board accepted the resignation of Mike Hodder from the Conservation Commission with regret and thanks. The resignation will be effective following the opening of Front Bay Park on Sept. 12.

Selectmen approved revised welfare guidelines for 2012.

Town Manager Owen announced that the town has been awarded $10,000 from the moose plate program to renovate the town clock faces. Additional fundraising needs to be done but the project may be undertaken this fall.

Owen also announced that asbestos has been removed from the recently-acquired Bunn McBride house and that it is scheduled to be demolished by the end of the month since no one responded to an offer to take the building away.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

Garnett Hill
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
Northern Human Services
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