To The Daily Sun,
Attention Gilmanton residents:
This past March the town voted to ban the stockpiling and spreading of bio-solids in the town of Gilmanton. The article to amend current ordinances passed with a 542 (yes) to 277 (no) majority vote. Common sense would dictate that there would no longer be any sludge allowed in town. Apparently the truckers that delivered at least four loads of bio-solids to Bobby McWhinnie's Hayshaker Farm on Meetinghouse Road between June 15, 2018 and June 21, 2018 weren't advised of our vote.
I submitted complaints for each of the loads that I witnessed being delivered. At both the June 18 and July 9 Board of Selectmen meetings I asked if they had addressed this issue. Chairman Steve McWhinnie said they had not and would not per advice of counsel. According to Mr. McWhinnie, counsel thinks that some farmers are “grandfathered in.” He said they cited the town's Zoning Article VII, Non-conforming Uses, Lots and Structures as part of their reasoning. To paraphrase the article: “Any lawful use of a lot...which was in existence when this ordinance or any revisions were approved may be continued.” The key word here is “USE.” The USE of the lot is farming. The stockpiling or spreading of Bio-solids is NOT a use of the lot.
We voted to “protect the health and welfare of our residents and prevent pollution of surface and ground water resources.” Since we do not have a health department or a separate section for health regulation ordinances, this is now a part of our zoning regulations (Article III, S and Article VI, Table I).
Put democracy to work and hold your selectmen accountable to do their job and uphold the majority consensus. There should be no spreading of sludge in Gilmanton and any sludge that has been stockpiled should be removed. The contact information for the Board of Selectmen (phone and email) is on the town's website www.gilmantonnh.org.
Make your voice heard and your vote count.
Barbara E. Swanson