Ossipee Selectmen Concerned for Timing of Boat Launch Closure

Ossipee–March 6, 2016—Ossipee selectmen signed a letter addressed to the N.H. Fish and Game Department at their meeting last Monday, May 2, expressing concerns for the construction that is disrupting use of the public boat launch on Route 25. While the town owns two other public boat launches on Lake Ossipee, the one on Route 25 is the only one with parking facilities.

The selectmen said the town was not formally advised of the work schedule and that they only learned of it a few weeks ago second-hand through Peter Waugh, the town’s recreation director. While they support the project in principle, they are dismayed by the timing and poor communication.

N.H. Fish and Game Department announced it is refurbishing the state-owned public boat access facility to improve public access to the Pine River and Ossipee Lake. Some of the improvements include enlarging the parking lot to provide 30 trailer and five cartop spaces, including one trailered and one accessible space. Stormwater runoff will be filtered and treated to protect the sensitive riparian environment. The ramp will be enlarged to a double-lane with a floating dock system between the two.

The project is expected to take 12 to 14 weeks to complete, depending on the weather. During the project, the ramp will be in the work area so there will be no opportunity to launch or retrieve boats during this time period.

The selectmen are of the opinion that the work should have been scheduled over a Fall/Spring period when the ramp is used less. However, construction began in late March which means the completion date is anticipated in late June, if there are no complications. If there are, then the ramp may be closed to boaters at the busiest time of the year, including the July 4th weekend.

In their letter, the selectmen asked that the work be expedited and that if delays look imminent, that a temporary contingency be made accessible to boaters. They said the economic impact to the town could be considerable if visitors and local residents had no access to boating on the lake. Selectman Rick Morgan and resident Julie Rosiak both said they had driven by the area on several occasions over the past few weeks and were concerned they had not seen any sign of construction workers.

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