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Moultonboro officials: No buildings planned on Lion's Club property


February 17, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Town officials say there are no plans to put a building on the Lion's Club property despite local rumors to the contrary.

The Planning Board scheduled a public hearing on Feb. 24 to discuss the drainage work proposed for the Lion's Club property on Old Route 109, the first phase of work for the proposed ballfields.

The Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen have the option of holding a public hearing under RSA 674:54. Under that law, the governing body and Planning Board must be notified of a substantial change of use to a piece of property for government use, meaning construction or development by a municipality, school district, or state college.

Notification shall be provided at least 60 days prior to the beginning of construction and either the governing body or planning board may conduct a public hearing relative to the proposed governmental use within 30 days after receipt of notice.

Either body may provide comment on the proposed project but are not required to.

Town Administrator Carter Terenzini said the master plan was submitted for the first phase of construction on the proposed ball fields on the Lion's Club property. Grading plans will be made for the site to address drainage. A second set of pit tests will be done and a grading plan will be devised.

Town officials said the plans being discussed are only related the drainage work.

Several town residents, however, have alleged that plans are being discussed to build a community center on the property despite the project being voted down at the 2008 town meeting. Residents have also alleged that discussions for building have been taking place at staff meetings.

Board of Selectman Chair Karel Crawford vehemently denied rumors that any building was going to be done on the site. Crawford said the plans contain footprints for where buildings could possibly go, included only to determine where work would or would not be done in the area.

"This board has absolutely no interest now, tomorrow, next year, or the year after to build any building on that land," Crawford said. "Absolutely, positively not. The rumors that are going around this town are absolutely ridiculous."

Crawford said the only building on that site for now will involve moving the gazebo.

"There's been no transparency at all in getting to this point," said resident Al Hume. Hume and others said they asked to be part of meetings to discuss the issue, but were refused entrance or to see minutes. "We went from a group of people doing something to a secretive staff meeting that no one can go in."

Terenzini said staff meetings are held on a regular basis to conduct daily business, and he and Selectman Betsey Patten said they are not open to the public.

The Board of Selectmen decided not to hold a hearing, but several members of the board are expected to attend the hearing on Feb. 24.

The Planning Board hearing will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Moultonboro Academy Auditorium.

Terenzini said construction of the field will hopefully start in April and go out to bid before March.

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