January 03, 2013WOLFEBORO — Ken Marschner, speaking at the Dec. 19 meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen on behalf of the Wolfeboro Milfoil Committee as its Chairman, asked for and received approval of a budget appropriation for $38,700 for 2013.
A 40 percent reimbursement grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services of $8,200 for chemical treatments costs of $20,500 will offset that amount, bringing it to $30,500.
Marschner told the board that last year's late starting mild winter and low snowfall in combination with an exceptionally early spring with the earliest ice-out ever recorded on Lake Winnipesaukee resulted in a dramatic regrowth of invasive milfoil in Back Bay in 2012.
Nature was kind to the hearty weed, whose vitality was enhanced not only by the low ice and snow cover but also many sunny spring and summer days.
A lake front community such as Wolfeboro that depends on tourism is necessarily wary of this situation for economic studies show that its presence can diminish the water's recreational value and aesthetic qualities, resulting in decreased real estate values and tax assessments in some locations.
In a domino effect, property tax abatements to lake front owners, a consequence of lower property values, can raise the property taxes of residents living off the water to make up the difference in the town budget.
The 2013 appropriation will also cover operational expenses of the Milfoil Joint Board ($1,500) and nearly 14 days of Diver Assisted Suctioning Harvesting ($16,700).
Also serving on the all volunteer Milfoil Committee are Linda Murray (liaison for the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen), Susan Goodwin, Skip Lorimor, Kathy Barnard, Kurt Dietzer, Tom Wachsmuth and Marc Martin.
Marschner noted the contributions of over 410 hours of volunteer time during 2012 to abate and survey milfoil in Wolfeboro's bays, lakes and ponds in a written report to the board.
Specifically, he said, they "have assisted in removing milfoil plant fragments during the 23 days of harvesting efforts, loaded town trucks with harvested milfoil in the amount of 21,240 gallons of milfoil plants, participated in planning meetings, contributed substantial hours to the Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro Milfoil Joint Board's regional effort to control milfoil, and provided opportunities for educating the public on the devastation of aquatic invasive weeds at boat ramps, at speaking engagements and in the writing of articles and reports on a variety of milfoil activities and events."