Alliance Launches Lake Representatives Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Freedom — January 20, 2007 — What will the future of Ossipee Lake be? Who should help shape that future? What programs are needed to ensure the lake’s long-term protection?

Those are among the questions that will be addressed by the Lake Representatives Forum, a new Ossipee Lake Alliance initiative that will bring the lake’s business and residential communities together for annual meetings starting this spring.

The program starts this month with a public survey on the state of the lake covering issues from milfoil control to quality of recreation to natural resource protection. The survey has been sent to 1,200 lake property owners and businesses, and it can also be completed online where the Alliance hopes to hear from others who use the lake, including fishermen, campers and vacationers. The survey’s online address is www.ossipeelake.org/2007.

The results of the survey will be presented at the first meeting of the Forum and will guide members in setting goals and priorities for programs that can be rolled out during the next three years.

Alliance program director Susan Marks says the goal of the Forum is to draw a greater number of people into the process of shaping the lake’s future.

“The milfoil prevention program we developed with boat ramp owners two years ago showed that the lake’s businesses and residential property owner associations could successfully work together to address an important issue,” she says. “The participants told us they wanted to see that kind of cooperation continue.”

How to do so was the issue, Marks says, and she credits big lake residents Jean Hansen and George Eisener with coming up with the Forum concept. Two years ago Hansen and Eisener helped revive their neighborhood’s long dormant Long Sands Association, which since then has racked up an impressive array of accomplishments including a neighborhood-wide reduction in property taxes.

“Jean and George told us they thought people from all around the lake should meet annually to identify and work on issues of common interest. When we said we agreed and pointed out the challenge of finding representatives from parts of the lake that don’t have an association, they said they would recruit them! Their timing was perfect.”

The two got to work right away, looking for representatives from Hodgdon Shore, Pauli Point, High Bluffs, Danforth Pond, Cassie Cove and the channels – areas of the lake that have a distinct identity without having a property owners association.

“In the long run we want to encourage each of these parts of the lake to develop their own group like we did, but right now we just want to find someone from each area to represent their neighborhood at the spring meeting,” Hansen says.

“The main requirements for being a representative are enthusiasm and a willingness to talk with neighbors.”

For more information on the Lake Representatives program, contact Susan Marks at smmarks@www.ossipeelake.org. If you are interested in representing a part of the lake that does not have a community association, contact Jean Hansen at jean@jeanhansen.com.

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