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Sportsmen's Club acting unsportsman-like on Lily Pond

To The Daily Sun,

This past Sunday was the annual Take a Kid Fishing tournament hosted by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club on Lily Pond in Gilford. This continues to be a great event as I witnessed many children with smiles catching fish.

However, this past Sunday I was quite dismayed by the actions of some members of the club. I am part of a group of people that rides our motorcycles on the ice. We spend many hours and a good amount of money to plow tracks as well as access to the pond and for the last couple of years we have plowed the "parking area" on Airport Road which is used by many as it is neither town or state maintained. We plow two tracks both encompassing a total of less than 20 percent of the farthest end of the pond.

On Sunday morning I showed up at 9:15 a.m. only to find our access routes to either track completely blocked by the Sportsmen's Club trailer and registration booth. We plowed plenty of room for them to set up without having to block anything. I unloaded my ATV to go scrape off the tracks and as I passed the club's trailer I noticed I was getting some, shall we say, "unwelcoming looks" I proceeded to the first track only to find multiple holes drilled into it. I was quite shocked as the tracks were well away from where most people were fishing. One of the holes had water bubbling up out of it leaving that area unusable. Sadly, this was the track the kids ride on to keep them away from the faster moving adults. I approached the club's trailer and calmly asked who drilled the holes in the track and got a blank stare from five men. Finally one responded saying, "They were here when we showed up." I knew this wasn't true as it was wet all around the holes and the temp was 10 degrees.

As the day went on some parents expressed interest in the bikes and studded tires and approached me at my trailer. Two different parents said the men at the Sportsmen's Club trailer "don't like you very much" and "had nothing nice to say about you." These parents expressed disappointment in the club's attitude and they said, "They probably wouldn't return." Funny thing is some of the guys I ride with and me have always been a supporters of the club. by buying raffle tickets, etc.

At noon they packed everything up and left. No one from the club policed the area for trash. I took it upon myself to collect trash that was left scattered around and brought home a bag full. The damage had been done. We couldn't let our kids on that track for fear they would hit the holes that were now frozen piles of ice and get hurt.

So with the lack of communication and frankly respect for others that we received from the club I have to say I was highly disappointed with the Unsportsman like conduct shown by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club. As a result a number of people, as well as me, will no longer support anything that has to do with this club.

Tim Dinan

Belmont

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Will anyone who doesn't like Historic District regs be able to leave?

To The Daily Sun,

Two petition warrant articles have been placed on the Gilmanton ballot that would remove properties that are inside and part of the Meetinghouse Historic District. It is important to consider the unintended consequences of these petitions.

The "district" will become a list of properties not tied with a common border. In the future, will anyone who doesn't like an Historic District regulation petition for removal from the district? Will efforts to protect the historic buildings in the districts from incompatible development cease?

The voters of Gilmanton established two Historic Districts in order to preserve and safeguard the historic nature of Meetinghouse and the Corners areas. A Historic District Commission was formed with the authority to see that ordinances and regulations approved by the voters were enforced. Over the years, the commission, with town approval, has refined these. The regulations reflect what would have been appropriate during the designated time period of the districts, 1790-1840.

There are some non-period buildings in the districts. When an application for a non-period building is presented to the HDC, the goal is to see if the project can be done and remain in compliance with the regulations. Changes can be made to non-period buildings so that the change is not in conflict with the regulations.

Decisions of the HDC are made on a case-by-case basis reflecting the ability of the project to comply. Past owners and the HDC have found solutions that comply with the regulations.

The persons that are petitioning to have their properties removed from the Historic District bought them with full knowledge that their properties were in restricted neighborhoods bound by regulations passed by the voters of the town. This is not unlike buying a condo or settling into a 55-and-over community. Both petitioners have met multiple times with the Historic District Commission in an effort to accomplish their goals within the confines of the regulations. Despite accommodations offered by the HDC, both petitioners chose not to comply.

There is an expectation that the rules will be followed for the benefit of all members of the community. Voters of Gilmanton decided to protect its historic assets and expect that the governing body of the town would enforce the regulations that have been set forth.

These petitions have the potential to undermine the purpose of the HDC. The HDC believes these warrant articles are not in the best interests of Gilmanton. We do not recommend these petitions. The Planning Board has voted "not to recommend" these petitioned articles.

We ask the voters of Gilmanton to vote "No" on Warrant Articles 5 and 6.

Deborah Chase, Ernest R. Hudziec, Allen Everett, Matt Grasberger

Gilmanton Historic District Commission

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