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Bahre estate offered for $49-million

ALTON — In what the listing agent calls "the most significant offering ever to come to market in New Hampshire," Longview on Lake Winnipesaukee, the estate at Clay Point owned by the Bahre family, is for sale. Landvest, an affiliate of Christie's, lists the property for $49 million.

Bob Bahre, who rescued the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine in the 1960s, parlayed his investments in auto racing, banking and real estate into purchasing Bryar Motorsports Park in Loudon in 1989, which a year later opened as the New Hampshire International Speedway. In 2008 Bahre sold the track to Bruton Smith of Speedway Motorsports for $340 million in a cash deal.

The property of 16.56 acres with 1,594 feet of shoreline includes two homes on separate lots — built between 2000 and 2003 — which together provide some 63,000 square feet of living space, and a post and beam "entertainment barn" of 7,655 square feet, with a catering kitchen and two-bedroom apartment. In addition, the gated estate, reached by a long, winding drive-through verdant grounds, features a tea house and two boathouses, along with an amphitheater, tennis court, helicopter pad, pool and grotto.

The main residence of 38,000 square feet on 9.48 acres with 733 feet of waterfront counts seven bedrooms 16 baths and 15 fireplaces together with two four-car garages, each topped by a one-bedroom apartment with kitchen and bath. Along with a two-story ballroom, formal dining room and living rooms, the home houses a pub, billiards room, library, gym and theater.

With 24,833 square feet of living space, the second, smaller home on 7.08 acres with 861 feet of shorefront provides four bedroom suites, nine baths and eight fireplaces along with a living room, music room, family room and theater, all of which face the lake. The paneled library leads to an infinity pool and grotto.

While the entire estate is for sale, its two parts are also offered separately, the larger for $25 million and the smaller for $24 million. The town assessed the larger parcel at $11,462,300 and the smaller at $7,518, 200.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 01:06

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Two young Gilford men arraigned on burglary charges

GILFORD — Police have charged a local man with two counts of burglary for allegedly entering homes on Escarole Lane in December of 2013 and Longridge Drive on February 4.

Christian St. Cyr, 21, of Oxbow Lane appeared by video yesterday and was ordered held on $1,500 personal recognizance bail and $2,500 cash and corporate surety bail.

A second man, Kelsey Hron, 21, of Oxbow Lane, was charged with criminal liability for the conduct of another for allegedly trying to sell an Benevolent Order of Elks pendant to an unnamed person.

At the request of the Gilford prosecutor, the affidavits were sealed by the court.

Gilford Police said the investigation is ongoing.

The arraignment was held yesterday morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division through the video system with a judge at a remote location.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 01:51

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Kimball Castle forum postponed to April 9 to give group time to explore purchase

GILFORD — Selectmen have postponed a public forum for townspeople to discuss the future of Kimball Castle until April 9 in order to give the the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee time to work with New Hampshire Preservation Alliance to see if the property can be purchased using state and federal preservation money.

The public forum about the future of the controversial castle and the 20 acres surrounding it was scheduled for next week.

According to the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee Chair Sandra McGonagle, the idea is to purchase the property from the current owner — David Jodin doing business as Kimball Castle Properties LLC — using preservation money and private donations.

McGonagle said they Wildlife Forestry Committee has obtained the services of a private appraiser with the goal of setting an independent price for the property and getting the current owner to agree to sell it to the committee for that price.

In March of 2013, the town's building inspector determined the structure was unsafe and ordered the owner to either put a fence up or demolish it. The owner wants to demolish the castle and sell the property for use as a single family residence.

The selectmen, acting in their capacity as trustees of the Kimball Wildlife Trust, voted unanimously to allow the owner to have the private structure removed.

Should the sale effort be successful, McGonagle said the hope would be to incorporate some of the 20 acres back into the 280 acres already managed by the Wildlife Forestry Committee and put a fence around the castle to stop people from entering the immediate area.

She said the castle would be allowed to decay naturally.

McGonagle said she appreciates the position the selectmen are in regarding the town's potential liability should anyone be hurt in or at the castle. She also said she fully appreciates the owner's desire to sell the property.

She added that she also thinks it is financially unrealistic to expect to restore the castle.

Kimball Castle, said McGonagle, has been placed on the "seven to save" list in New Hampshire and in 1982 the castle was given a spot on the National Register.

She said she is hopeful that the combination of the two designations is enough to earn them a preservation grant in the event the owner elects to sell it at the independently appraised price.

Kimball Castle was built on Lockes Hill in 1895 by Concord and Montreal Railroad President Benjamin Ames Kimball.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 01:45

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2 first-time politicians seeking to succeed Lavin on Gilmanton Selectboard

GILMANTON — While both of the candidates who want to be the town's new selectmen are long-time residents, this is the first time either of them has tossed his name into the political arena.

Ralph Lavin's  term on the board ends next month and he is not seeking re-election.

James Barnes has a 40-year career in propane sales who is also a musician who describes himself as "New Hampshire-flavored". He writes and records his own CDs.

He said he is running because some people in town have asked him to run.

He said he thinks the town is going in the right direction and is "delighted" that his property tax bill was lower this year, but is concerned over the polarizing of the town over issued like the Gilmanton Year-Round Library and the Fire Department.

"Because it is a small town these issues can be resolved," he said.

He described the library as an "incredibly emotional" issue but one that can be solved. When asked what his plan was, Barnes said he would explain it at the candidates forum scheduled for March 6.

"All I'll say is that we need to proceed with a certain amount of caution," he said, noting that the town needs to come up with some kind of solution that in long term because the year-to-year divisiveness is unnecessarily driving a wedge between people in a community that everyone wants to see prosper.

"My agenda is I'm pro Gilmanton," he said, saying he wants to make a great town just a little bit better through "reasoned debate" and "good listening".

Opponent Stephen McCormack spent 21-years in the U.S. Military, first in the Marine Corps and then as an Army Officer. He retired with rank of major.

As a recently retired state employee, McCormack also was a senior representative for the N.H. State Employees Union.

He said he feels some of the town's employee feel devalued and that in general the current selectmen are listening to what the town and its employees want.

"Your town is only as good as the employees who work for it," he said.

One of his goals is to form a labor-management committee in town to talk through some of the departmental issues that he feels may not be handling as effectively as possible.

He also wants to get to know the people who work in the town on an individual basis so he can better understand their jobs and the support they need from the selectmen to do them.

McCormack said is is committee to "open and transparent" government, noting that this board of selectmen seems to have a lot of non-public meetings.

"Town government should be open and responsive," he said.

McCormack's other goal is to encourage a review of some zoning regulation that could enable some high-tech manufacturing to relocate in Gilmanton.

He said he has met with the Gilmanton Firefighters Association and believes the department should stay the same size that it is now.

As to the Year-Round Library, he said he is "kind of neutral" and has some concerns about some of the information distributed at the annual deliberative session.

McCormack and Barnes will both be at the candidates forum on March 6 at the Gilmanton School that begins a 6 p.m.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 01:41

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