By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — The Belknap County Sportsmen's Association closed on the purchase of nine acres of land from the Laconia Municipal Airport Authority Tuesday at a cost of $176,000.
The association has long leased land near the airport at a nominal cost for its clubhouse and activities.
About 30 years ago the clubhouse was moved from a spot near the end of a runway to its present location on Lily Pond Road.
However, when its lease ran out, federal rules governing airport operations required that the new lease be priced at market value.
The association determined the most cost-effective course of action would be to undertake fundraising activities and purchase the land at its appraised value of $176,000.
Ralph Scribner, the club president, said the organization, which has about 300 members, was able to put $71,000 down on the property and obtained a mortgage loan of $105,000 to complete the purchase.
“It's a huge relief,” Scribner said. “The Board of Directors have been working hard to do this. We've been trying to raise as much as we could. This is a great group of people who want to help the community and educate kids and get them outdoors.”
The club began in 1931. It helps with local scholarship funds and teaches proper hunting, fishing and archery techniques. It has a firearms range and an archery range. It holds an ice fishing derby and a spring fishing derby.
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