Alliance Stresses Economic Value of Lake at Rotary Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Freedom — June 1, 2003 — At a presentation to the Ossipee Valley Rotary Club, Ossipee Lake Alliance executive director David Smith said that protecting the quality of recreation and the unique character and environment of Ossipee Lake are essential for the economic future of the towns of Ossipee and Freedom.

“As a primary vacation destination,” Smith said, “the lake creates an annual influx of seasonal residents and visitors that local retailers and service providers rely on year after year. If the lake becomes polluted, over-crowded with boats or loses its unique character, that revenue stream will be threatened.”

Smith cited conclusions about the lake’s importance that were made in the Greater Ossipee Area Chamber of Commerce’s 1996 economic study, which was co-sponsored by Rotary, and outlined some of the trends that have developed since the study was published, including a significant increase in the value of lake real estate.

“The rapid rise in lake property prices in the past two years appears to be driven by investors looking for alternatives to the stock market and retirees upgrading cottages and building permanent homes on the lake,” Smith said. “The trend benefits local communities by increasing tax revenues without straining local services such as schools, but it also creates a challenge for us to understand the long-term impact on the lake’s nature and character and its carrying capacity.”

Smith said that one of the Alliance’s goals is to create a diverse task force consisting of local officials, businesses, environmental groups and citizens to formulate a long-term stewardship plan for Ossipee Lake.

Ossipee Lake Alliance is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) New Hampshire corporation based in Freedom. It maintains a website at www.ossipeelake.org.

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