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I’m on WOW Trail frequently & find it safe, well maintained

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing as a WOW Trail supporter, a bicyclist who uses the trail very frequently, and an advocate for its continued use and expansion. I ride the current legs of the WOW Trail and Belmont trail sections on a regular basis during the warmer weather months and find the trails exceptionally safe, clean, and well-maintained. There is now a group titled WOW Trail Ambassadors who use the path and offer to assist others, provide information, report any issues noticed, and advocate for the trail. During one week in August, the Ambassadors reported that up to 55 users of all ages were on the trail at any one point in time during the day, using the trail in a safe and respectful manner. The individuals using the trail included families, kids, senior citizens, runners, bicyclists, and walkers.

I have also ridden many other bicycle paths and rail trails in New Hampshire, as well as in other New England states, and have observed the value that these paths can provide to a community.

It is my belief and observation that bicycle paths and trails are a tremendous resource and asset for any community – particularly within Laconia and the Lakes Region where recreational and tourist opportunities are many. I believe the current WOW Trail with the Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail path extension into Belmont is a great resource for our communities and its residents, as well as those who are visitors to the Lakes Region.

I fully support continued and ongoing discussions about how to further develop the WOW Trail to connect to the Weirs and points beyond. I am also in full support of the proposed study by the City Council that will explore the expansion of the WOW Trail to connect with The Weirs. The original thoughts were to continue development via the railroad corridor from Lakeport, which is land that is owned by the state of New Hampshire. A study can explore all factors and considerations, providing data, facts, and recommendations which the WOW Trail organization, Laconia City Council, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and property owners can consider in deliberating how to proceed. A study can provide a structure for discussion that can be most helpful for reaching decisions on what will work best, or what will not work best, for our city as a whole. I hope we can engage in a rational, civil, and reasonable dialogue that brings us to an outcome we all can appreciate and rally behind as a community, using objective review of data and information. It is not helpful to promote information that is not accurate or realistic.

It is also hurtful, and not in anyone’s best interests, to have personal innuendos and derogatory names written about trail supporters just because they happen to believe in an approach that others may not. Let us keep an open mind and continue with some meaningful, purposeful, and respectful face-to-face discussions.

Scott Davis

Laconia

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 5

Gilford Public Works response totally inadequate after storm

To The Daily Sun,

As residents of Gilford, many of you experienced property damage from the storm of Oct. 29. To my knowledge, no one was seriously injured, and for that we can all be grateful.

Unfortunately at my home, I experienced several thousand dollars of property damage. Seven large healthy pine trees were totally uprooted during the storm. One hit my house, and another took down power lines, broke a telephone pole, and took out power to much of the Belknap Mountain area for four days. Another tree was partially uprooted and fortunately got caught up in the limbs of another tree, preventing it from falling. I consequently had to pay to have that tree removed so that it would not fall on a shed located in my back yard.

The area of my property where the trees were located is extremely wet, a condition that can be directly correlated with the installation of the town's sewer system in 2003. That project changed the path of underground springs and caused them to flow down through the tree line in my yard. Within less than a year trees started dying and the area became a giant mud hole. The water flows through that area 24/7, 12 months of the year. The volume of water is so great that it flows across the road in front of my house to the stop sign on the opposite side of the street. This becomes a dangerous situation especially during the colder months of the year, because it creates a layer of "black ice" at that intersection. There has been increased traffic in that area since the development of York Village, and it is also a school bus route.

I notified the Gilford Department of Public Works, and several employees from the DPW came to my property to assess the situation. The collective decision of the group was to dig a ditch in front of my house? I am admittedly not an environmental engineer, but wouldn't it make more sense to dig a culvert above, at the source of the water to force it into the storm drains than to dig a ditch in front of the house?

Needless to say, they dug their ditch. That didn't work, so they dug a deeper ditch. When that didn't work, they put rocks in the ditch. Doesn't conventional wisdom tell you that when you are digging a hole and not getting anywhere, you stop digging?

There have been multiple complaints to the Gilford DPW, but they merely throw some sand down at the stop sign and call it good.

I am now out thousands of dollars to pay someone to help me clean up the mess. Also, the Gilford DPW couldn't be bothered to help out the town residents and pick up piles of brush that I'm sure we all had after the storm. They cut off the top of my tree that was partially blocking the road in front of my house. They threw half of it on my front lawn, the other half on my neighbor's front lawn, then refused to remove it because it wasn't in the road.

Perhaps the management at Gilford Public Works should require more than just a high school diploma, a driver's license, and a clean drug screen test to hire someone. I would recommend a course in common sense, and another in phone etiquette. In my own experience, they are lacking in both departments.

I am now looking at my tax bill and wondering just what does Gilford do with my money? Clearly the Gilford DPW needs some help. Perhaps, someone should look into that?

Thank you Gilford Department of Public Works — for nothing.

Shelley Boyd

Gilford

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 4