To The Daily Sun,
A recent article in a local paper noted that the state’s Department of Environmental Services has cut funds to inspect waterways i.e. lakes, rivers, beaches, etc. Are they nuts? Here in the Lakes Region and Laconia particularly, the main industry and source of revenues is tourism. Our manufacturing base has disappeared and we desperately rely on our lake for tourism and for our drinking water. And do we want our children and visitors swimming at beaches that may have excessive levels of E. coli and other bacteria which cause risks to human health?
The former brings thousands of visitors to the area for swimming, boating, fishing, and the sheer natural beauty of our area. These thousands bring money to the area that support businesses and the people they employ and these lakes add strong numbers to our tax base.
The latter is essential to our very lives. Our drinking water has always been superior and of course one cannot live without it. This, of course, goes hand in hand with our willingness to help fund milfoil projects. We know the state should fund this or most of it, but the figures they put out don’t support that. The state recently claimed they received only $87,000 for their share of boat registrations that is to be used for milfoil containment. It was divided among the 34 communities requiring assistance. Hardly a spit in the bucket. Communities should be lobbying the state for more money but in the meantime the cities and towns will have to do what they can to help projects trying to control this blight, because without clean waterways, no one will come. People considering moving here to live year round or buy vacation homes will consider other areas. Property values will fall.
The House and Senate in Concord have blindly cut many essential programs without thought to what effect it will have on everyone and on the state. When communities lose their source of income and the revenue that goes to the state, where will the state find the next pile of money it needs? Sometimes they need to invest in programs that will bear fruit, keep communities alive. The need to balance the budget is so overwhelming to them and the need to fulfill their pre-election promises has compromised their common sense and they are rushing to do things without looking at the whole picture.