Ossipee—September 17, 2017—Ossipee’s Board of Selectmen voted on September 11 to petition the state for approval to hold a special town meeting in November so that residents can decide whether to purchase an Ossipee Lake campground for $1.2 million.
The option to purchase 53-acre Camp Sokosis, which is on the big lake, was announced in August by Select Board Chairman Richard Morgan, who has been leading the board’s search for a new public beach. The campground property is accessible by a private way, Gretchen Road, off Route 16B, and town-owned Hodgson Shore Road, off of Route 25 East.
On September 13, the Select Board posted an intent-to-file notice on its website, triggering a mandatory 10-day public notice period. At the end of that period, the town will file its request to hold a November vote.
Two-thirds of the residents present at the special meeting must authorize the purchase and sign off on the board’s proposed operating plan for the business, which includes 45 seasonal campsites, 24 boat slips, four moorings, and 200 feet of shorefront.
At the August announcement of the agreement with the seller, Selectman Morgan said revenue from continuing to rent the boat slips and 30 of the 45 seasonal campsites would likely generate enough revenue to pay for the bond.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the Town of Ossipee to have a beach on Ossipee Lake without the taxpayers having to pay for it,” he said, according to the Carroll County Independent.
Morgan indicated that after the state approves the special town meeting, the Select Board will convene a series of public hearings to discuss the details of the plan and receive input from the public.
I don’t understand how tax payers won’t have to pay if you get rid of sites. Who will pay for maintenance And uo keep of campground. Won’t we have to pay for life guard someone to clean beach. Will rent of campers really pay for the loan ossipee will have to take to pay we will be Losing the taxes the current owners pay how do we get that back ? I really don’t see how are taxes will not go up. Why can’t they just clean up Duncan beach and use that as town beach seems like no one even goes there.
Taxes will definitely increase without the $26,000 coming in from Dianne Sheehan and the loss of $45,000 for removing 15 campsites as stated in the article. That is $71,000.00 to make up for. And the town should not be running or operating a business to pay for a $1.2 million loan. Too much risk of failure which will result in even a higher tax increase. We already have Duncan Lake Town Beach and Nichols Road as well as LongSands. How many beaches do we need?
I agree with Keith and Matthew. Besides the cost of the property, how will the cost of the maintenance to not only the beach, but the campground be paid for? There is talk of putting in a playground there, who will be paying for that? It’s my understanding that Duncan Lake had no or limited life guard duty this year, therefore the facilities weren’t open either. Why?
Also aren’t there more important things the town should be concerned with, such as the opioid problem with needles being found on the side of the roads, and the school aged children without sidewalks so they can safely walk to school?
We as taxpayers and residents should be more concerned with making sure our kids and grandkids are safe. If my taxes are going to be increased, I would rather have them increased for the good of the residents and their immediate needs, than having our taxes increased for something that would be used 3 or maybe 4 months out of the year, by only a few.
Why not take some of the town money to pay and improve the already existing town beaches?
What about the residents of Hodsdon Shore Road? If this town beach is voted in, will their taxes go up and their property values go down?
Many of those residents are seasonal, yet pay more in property taxes because of their location, than a lot of the year round residents do that don’t live directly on the lake.
It’s also my understanding that the Sheehan’s offered to DONATE a parcel with 90′ of lake front to the town, since the Sheehan’s had another buyer for the campground itself, and the Selectmen said NO. Why is that?
The Selectmen would rather burden the Taxpayers/Residents of Ossipee with a 1.2 million dollar bond, than to have been given a FREE beach?
What i would like to no is why didn’t the selectman say that the Sheehans offered to give the beach for free to the town of Ossipee …..Wouldn’t that be smarter to do that than trying to buy and run a campground.Is the campground going to bring in enough money to pay bond and up keep of the camp. How will our taxes not go up. There are so many questions will they really tell us the truth .
Great points Keith. Even IF the rents and docking fees could cover the bond payment (which is questionable in itself) what about all the maintenance, repairs, personnel, and other operating costs? As a taxpayer, I don’t want to see my taxes go up for yet another town beach. We have minimal use at Duncan Lake and the others as it is. I’d rather my tax dollars go towards more pressing needs in our town. Curious as to the REAL motivation behind this deal.???
Anyone who thinks they can get something for nothing is a fool. There could not possibly have been enough research done to warrant the 1.2 million dollar price tag. More than half of the proposed 53 acres is a SWAMP! You can’t tell me that there isn’t something utterly fishy going on here. Don’t be fooled.
Our Town Selectman are supposed to act in the best interest of the town and its residents. I watched Monday’s meeting to only find out Dianne Sheehan offered to donate 90′ of the Camp Sokokis beach front to the town. Why was this never brought to the tax payers attention? Especially if the Town only had a verbal agreement with Dianne Sheehan at the time of this offer which Rick Morgan confirmed with a nod when asked by a town resident. I am quickly losing faith in our Town Selectman. Wouldn’t Dianne Sheehan offering to donate a piece of property to the town so we could have a new town beach for free be to our best interest? Why would our Selectman pass up this golden opportunity to have a new town beach donated to us? Instead they have forced the purchase of a 53 acre piece of property with a hefty price tag of $1.2 million. We could have had a beautiful 90′ beech donated to the town. How does any of this make sense?
I for one, if renting a campsite, do not want to use a public beach for access to the water.
Also, who is going to set up the rentals, collect the rents, and cover day to day issues at the campground.
so if this goes to vote i hope we as town people vote no because we can make this not happen so our taxes do not go up I agree with karen there is much better ways to spend 1.2 milion dollars . We have to stick together and make this not happen.
I look at it differently.As the town grows and we all want use of Ossipee lake and as the cost will only rise to purchase any LAND,then maybe a added fee (sticker cost for NON RESIDENTS) a rental fee for docks,outings 4th etc ,maybe donations and a learning ctr like squam for kids.possabilities are limitless.
The allegation that the campground owner offered the town the beach for free, separate from the campground, was presented to the Selectmen on Monday. Selectman Morgan’s rambling answer does not confirm or deny the allegation. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=245&v=oLKyLedo3zw
Skip, I just watched the meeting again and at 1:47 into the meeting, Rick Morgan Says ” We had an agreement before there were any discussions about them donating a portion of the beach”.
I would say that is a confirmation from Rick Morgan that Dianne Sheehan did in fact offer to donate a portion of the beach to the town. My concern would be why did he not answer the question directly and explain why when Dianne Sheehan offered this donation it was not considered by the town? Even with an agreement being worked on, I feel a 90 donated beach is in the best interest of our town rather than spending 1.2 million and acquiring a business to run in order to have 90 feet of usable beachfront. With all of the boatslips, we are going to end up with the same 90 feet of Beach frontage no matter which agreement would have been signed. Why not go with the offer of it as a donation? Up to that point it sounds like the agreement was only verbal and even if it were signed why not make the changes, accept the donation, and sign the updated agreement? In the long run it would have saved the town of ossipee over a Million dollars instead of putting us at great risk of yet another large tax increase.
If Ossipee already has Duncan Beach, which was Not opened this year, Why would they want another beach? Where is the money going to come from to operate and keep up the grounds? Without a doubt the taxes will definitely go up to help pay for this. They can’t seem to operate the beach they already have!. Also, Why did only 1 selectman know about the gift from Dianne Sheehan,( the giving of the beach that the Town wants for
a public beach), and not the rest of them? There seems to be something Very fishy about this whole agenda! Does it have any thing to do with the fact that 1 of the selectman is the retired chief of police?
If anyone would like to share additional concerns/comments with me for future articles, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Mellisa Seamans, Reporter, Carroll County Independent
It will be interesting to see how many of the current campers stick around after the town takes over. A 10 year bond will cost the town around $120,000 per year. If the town gets rid of 15 of the 45 sites at $3000 per site that only brings in $90,000 (Assuming no one else leaves). So, the town is already in the red $30k. Now we include maintenance, a new employee to manage the campground, $26k in lost tax revenue, renovations to the existing land and outbuildings, etc this is going to get pricey fast. I am a tax payer that is not eligible to vote, so, please voting public vote NO to prevent a TAX INCREASE.
Has the town given any thought to the liability insurance/responsibility that would be involved?? Public beach needs CPR certified Life Guards. These things add to the cost if campground were will this come. Campers might stay buy if it become a public road I would not blame them to leave who wants people flying down Gretchen road when child are there.
I love the comment, “likely generate” enough revenue to cover the costs!…..You really want town government to run a business?? Taxes will increase,liability will be a nightmare! Go with a smaller part of the freebie…..See how that works.do more research…then think about making it larger. Like a real business group would do. Before you spend someone elses money…
These are all very valid points! WHY DID THE TOWN TURN DOWN A DONATION OF BEACH FRONT PROPERTY??? Most of the land in question is wetland. Is the town planning on ignoring the EPA and disrupting the local ecosystem by building on it? Why do we need the whole 53 acres for a 90′ section of beach? Who is going to pay for all the work that needs to be done; parking lot, playground, bathroom facilities etc? Remember that the $1.2 million price tag is JUST TO BUY THE LAND, not for whatever comes next. guaranteed there is a hidden agenda here and TAXES WILL GO UP!
So hopefully all of you are voters and if they get the special vote you will all go vote No I no I am. I am not taking any chancesuggestions my taxes will go up