Published DateTo the editor,
Mr. King, you are right in that I should have thought about services before I bought at South Down. I knew, as a private community, I would be paying for additional services, but never had any idea as to the extent that South Down and Long Bay subsidize the City of Laconia in actual dollars until after I moved in. Also to the extent that the city nickels and dimes us to death and actually costs us more money in the end.
Every year since then, it has been one surprise after another. First it was being charged to use the dump where most everyone else gets free curbside pick-up. The town I came from in N.H., most people used the dump, including recycling, but it was free to use. Everyone was treated the same. You had to recycle or you couldn't use the dump, period! There was no free curbside pick-up. At least Laconia is starting to force the recycling issue.
Then if we want police patrols, SD has to pay. Next there are people from all over town coming to our small private beach and using our facilities. Maybe even some of those kids walking along the tracks? Now we have to pay for beach monitors so our residents can use our own beach which we ourselves maintain.
Then the WOW trail comes along and wants to cross our pristine waterfront property (which we pay higher taxes for), erect a fence, limit our access to boat usage in our marina and docks, tear through our beach club, turn our greenbelt into "Central Park" and compromise our security that we have to pay extra for. I have nothing against the WOW trail, just not coming through the property that I purchased and enjoy and reducing my values and costing me yet again more money to maintain than I originally thought when I purchased.
On top of that, we at least were able to manage our own coverage requirements (or so we thought) until recently, when the city ZBA decided to get involved in our "private community". They dragged out a recent variance for well over a year, pitted neighbor against neighbor, and again cost SD residents tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses without having any clue of how our private community operates. "There when we don't want you, not there when we do!"
So stop with the petty criticisms of our community, because without our subsidy (revenues without the costs) Laconia city taxes would go way up based on the costs that are already incurred to support the non SD and LB areas.
Just think, with all these other things going on, some people in the city couldn't even be bothered with separating their own trash while getting free curbside pick-up!