Ossipee – March 10, 2005 — After a lively discussion on the merits of constructing a town beach on State-owned property in Ossipee Lake Natural Area, Ossipee voters authorized the Selectmen to spend $20,000 of the town’s money for “construction to the land” at the site, contingent on the town first obtaining a lease on the property for no more than $100 annually.
The vote came less than a week after the State Archeologist suggested that the required archeological study alone at the site could exceed $20,000, leaving the total cost to Ossipee taxpayers unknown.
Selectman Harry Merrow, the primary sponsor of the beach plan, has proposed that the State pay for the environmental surveys because it is State property. Allison McLean, a DRED director, says that the costs must be paid for by the town because it has requested the project.
The Natural Area is one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land remaining in the Ossipee Lake system. DRED, the State agency overseeing the property, has documented that it contains rare plants and unique habitats that are not know to exist anywhere else. Since Native Americans are known to have settled in the area 1,000 to 3,000 years ago, the site is also an archeological area of interest to the State.
In other matters, the voters approved $5,000 for the Species Control Fund, to be applied to milfoil control and prevention as needed, and $2,000 for tributary water testing, including the waters entering Ossipee Lake.