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Selectmen hijacked site study & turned it into a $6.5 mmillion plan

To The Daily Sun,

How did we get from a $17,500 site study to a $6.5 million Community Center complex?

As Moultonborough voters are faced with Article 2 at Saturday's Town Meeting, some of us are asking, how did we get from a $17,500 site study for a potential recreation building to a $6.5 million bond for a 20,000-square-foot all-purpose community center complex?

At 2014 Town Meeting, a small number of residents present voted to carry out the site study, to follow up on the Blue Ribbon Commission's now outdated recommendation to "pursue development of a facility that includes an indoor gymnasium, Recreation Department office, program and storage space that would be on existing school land or property adjacent to school facilities." The vote on Article 13 was 171 yes and 68 no, carried by 103 votes.

So when did this site study for a potential recreation building morph into a huge community center?

Looking beyond the slick presentations we've had pushed on us since early January to justify the community center, it's important to understand that the Selectboard made the decision to expand the scope of the project at a work session on Sept. 3, 2015.

At that September work session, which did not allow any public input, the Selectboard agreed to pursue a new community center building that would incorporate all the functions now at the Lions Club. This was contrary to earlier meetings during the summer where a modest recreation facility was discussed. Now that we know that gym usage numbers have been misrepresented, was this a deliberate move to disguise facts and market an unneeded recreation gym as a multi-use community center? Was this expansion of scope appropriate?

Did the Selectboard hijack Article 13 (site study for a recreation gym facility) with their decision to pursue a community center complex? We're being told to approve a $6.5 million bond and trust the Selectboard to work out the details later.

I urge voters to come to Town Meeting on Saturday, March 12, 9:30 a.m., Moultonborough Academy auditorium and vote "no" on Article 2.

Nancy Wright


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I believe non-profits will be exempt from new Meredith vending fee

To The Daily Sun,

Please be advised that upon reading the article (about the approval of Motorcycle Week vendor fees in Meredith) in Thursday's paper, I wanted to write with minor clarification and a few points for understanding.

The Board of Selectmen has been and are in agreement that non-profits would be excluded from the fee. In a meeting when this was first brought to the public, we advised them that for as long as we (the American Police Motorcycle Museum) are here in Meredith, we wanted to have a place in our field for them every Motorcycle Week. Our plan was for it to be all military-related, and that they could all sell the things that help them to help other veterans. We don't charge any fees to them and we were just looking for assurance that they would not be charged.

The only thing that worried me (during Wednesday night's Town Meeting) was the mention of sale of items during Motorcycle Week required the fee to be paid. The veterans' groups raise money by selling things more than simple donations. These men and women have become very special to us because the things they do for our service members melts our hearts. The Meredith Board of Selectmen has been totally supportive of this.

Secondly, since we have come to Meredith we have met several local people who asked why we did not open up our field more to vending during Motorcycle Week. These were not commercial vendors but people who lived in the area that had parts, motorcycle clothing or other items people coming to Motorcycle Week might purchase. We have been letting them vend for free also because, quite honestly, they don't make a lot of money and it helps to promote our business.

The example I shared Wednesday night was of an elderly woman last year who asked me if she could set up and sell off her Motorcycle Week memorabilia last year. She made less money than the proposed fee and most of the stuff she sold; I bought and it is now on display. We also let people in the area park their motorcycles on the property with a for sale sign with no charge. We do not allow anything offensive to be sold. No alcohol can be sold or consumed, and in five years of Motorcycle Week, we have not had one problem. Our feeling about Motorcycle Week or any event in the Lakes Region is that we all need to be ambassadors by welcoming and assisting those that come to this beautiful region.

I fully understand the point of view presented by the Meredith Selectboard in the proposal as it is their function to look at the big picture and make decisions, some tough and some where disagreement is plentiful. I don't believe in the one size fits all theory which is why I brought up a fee schedule that would be affordable to the people who are not commercial vendors. Although my math was off last night, this also has the potential to bring in more funds than the cost of manning the fire stations and police coverage. Distributing the excess funds evenly to the police and fire chiefs for them to make an equipment purchase they might not normally afford in their budgets is good public relations for all involved.

Wednesday night was the first meeting of this type that I have ever attended and we found it extremely interesting.

D. Frederick

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