By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILMANTON — The Gilmanton Winery's expanding business has led to the need for a better septic system plan.
After being challenged publicly by some town constituents, Selectman Marshall Bishop has agreed to prepare a backup septic plan for his winery which will accommodate all of the expansions he has made throughout the past few years.
According to Richard De Seve of the Department of Environmental Services, Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control, the winery's backup septic plan expired in February.
"We find no record of a permit(s) being issued under your name for the work described above," wrote De Seve, informing him he may not be in compliance with state rules and regulations since he expanded his facility from a 24-seat restaurant and a two-bedroom home to a 40-seat restaurant, two function rooms and a 75-seat deck.
In a letter sent to Gilmanton Selectmen's Chairman Michael Jean and copied to the town administrator on Tuesday, De Seve wrote that the state had approved a 24-seat restaurant for the Gilmanton Winery and it has authorization to prepare food on site.
"We will be working with Mr. Bishop to obtain a new septic system that reflects the expansion of use since the last expansion," he said.
Bishop said Tuesday he is aware his four-year septic system plan has expired and said he has employed engineer Matthew Moore to design a new one. He said he has told the state about this and expects the new plan to be ready by the end of next week.
"Our business is getting busier and busier, and most of it is on the winery side," he said.
He said 90 percent of the cooking is done by Chef Sarah Baldwin, who cooks most things at her home and brings them to the winery. He said she keeps it warm at the restaurant and occasionally prepares food that must be cooked just before it is served.
He said when they started cooking and serving breakfast two years ago, they installed a grease trap to protect the existing septic system.
"I want to take care of everything," Bishop said. "I respect everything they do and will comply with everything they ask."
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