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Ossipee to put the chemicals to milfoil

BOB BUSHMAN (left) presented Ossipee Selectman Chair Harry Merrow with a time capsule from 1987 he discovered in a house formerly owned by Merrow’s mother at the Ossipee selectmen’s meeting Monday evening, Jan. 24. Selectmen Kathleen Maloney and Morton Leavitt look on with interest. (Mellisa Ferland photo) (click for larger version)
January 27, 2011
OSSIPEE — Selectmen voted Monday night, Jan. 24, to treat the pesky milfoil in Ossipee Lake chemically. It took several weeks for them to decide whether or not to do it, with some convincing.

In the end, Selectman Kathleen Maloney voted against using 2,4-D treatment while Selectmen Harry Merrow and Morton Leavitt voted "with reluctance" to accept state grant money and move ahead with the treatment. They were rightfully concerned about the impact chemicals will have on water quality and safety in using chemicals and if it is truly more beneficial than hand harvesting.

Robert Oram, a Freedom resident who has been active on several boards and committees in that town, including the effort to control milfoil on their side of the lake, spoke to selectmen about the findings in that town.

"I'm not a big chemical fan myself. In Freedom we used both applications – herbicide 2,4-D and also on a smaller infestation used diver-assisted suction harvesting. We followed the diver in a canoe and noticed that as the diver moves through the water he stirs up quite a bit of the milfoil. After extraction some of it obviously breaks up. We filled two five gallon pails in an hour of parts that broke off. We see firsthand that on a larger infestation the herbicide works well. On the smaller infestation I strongly suggest you use a core of volunteers to assist because it tends to break away."

Oram explained that in 2011 Freedom has received the same grant being offered to Ossipee from NH Department of Environmental Services. The matching grants can only be used for chemical treatments. Freedom will once again use the chemical herbicide in Danforth Bay.

"There is no way to eradicate it, but can keep it in check. Based on the herbicide application and the assessment we made – the difference was remarkable," said Oram.

Milfoil has been found in Ossipee's Pickerel Cove and Phillips Brook. According to reports, it has now infested a 12- to 13-acre total area.

Maloney expressed concern about the possible impact on drinking water for residents in those areas. Residents will be given advance notice before the application is applied with information about necessary precautions.

Time Capsule

Robert Bushman of Ossipee and creator of unique pieces of furniture using salvaged wood from old buildings in his business Olde Wolfeborough Renovations came to the meeting with a time capsule of sorts for Selectman Merrow. Bushman is working for Kevin Straughan to dismantle the house on Route 16B that was destroyed by fire this fall. The home once belonged to Merrow's mother. Bushman told Merrow he found a hidden closet in the house and in it he recovered a USA Today newspaper from March 17, 1987, a dollar bill and a picture his mother had placed in an envelope. Merrow thanked Bushman and expressed surprise that the items, in perfect condition but for slight smoke discoloration, had survived the blaze.

Other News

Selectmen scheduled a meeting for Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. with the nine fire precinct commissioners to discuss and come to formal agreement on how the town distributes tax money collected to the precincts.

Selectmen approved event applications for Sunny Villa to hold vintage snowmobile races on the track behind the restaurant in February and March and for Ossipee Concerned Citizens to hold an indoor fundraising yard sale at town hall on Feb. 12.

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