Overdue finish of warming hot restoration has landed in selectmen's lap

GILFORD — Selectmen will be discussing on June 26 whether or not the town should help the family which undertook the restoration of the old warming hut at the base of what used to be a novice ski slope at the Gilford Outing Club on Cherry Valley Road.
Selectman John O'Brien, one of the volunteers who has helped with the project, said last night the volunteer labor that was suppose to rebuild the hut doesn't exist anymore and the John and Carol Anderson family has asked the town for the assistance necessary to finish the project.
"It's a shame we have to talk about this tonight," said O'Brien, who wanted it known that while in 2006 the town voters gave the Andersons permission to rebuild the simple rectangular building that is on town property, they never agreed to provide the labor.
Sarah Anderson, then 10-years-old, came up with the idea of restoring the hut and getting it placed on the state's register of historic buildings, raising nearly $10,000 for the project. As of April of 2012, there was work being done by volunteers but last night there was no explanation offered by selectmen about why there were no more volunteers.
O'Brien said he was concerned with what he called "veiled threats" (he declined to say from whom) and the use of town labor. He said there is a contractor who will complete the work for a not-to-exceed price but the project has never been "vetted" by anyone except the people who organized it.
Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan said he has the skilled workers in his department to complete the work but said the manpower he would need would for the project would cause him to reschedule other town projects.
Police Chief Kevin Keenan said he would contact the Belknap County House of Corrections to see if there are any incarcerated carpenters who could work on the hut.