The sale of the campground is the end of Ossipee’s hopes to buy it, but not the end of the litigation surrounding it. Still to be resolved are Ossipee’s lawsuit against property owner Sheehan to recoup its expenses based on her alleged breach of contract, and Sheehan’s counter-suit for damages alleging breach of contract by the town as well as fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation. Also in the wings is a civil suit by two Ossipee residents who charged the town was unprepared for the turnout at the November 28 special town meeting.
A Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Camp Sokokis owner Dianne Sheehan to prevent her from selling the property to another buyer. The Ossipee Select Board accuses her of breach of contract and fraud, alleging she waged a war of words against the town in order to defeat the Nov. 28 special town meeting vote on the town’s purchase of the property. The board wants Sheehan to repay the money the town has spent on pursuing the purchase and wants a new town meeting vote without Sheehan’s interference.
In a surprise announcement, Board Chair Rick Morgan said the town plans to close the campground, not just reduce the number of campsites, creating a potential conflict with a provision of the purchase and sales agreement. Responding to opponents of the purchase, board member Sandra Martin called the people behind the “Do the Math” road signs cowardly and un-American because they have chosen to be anonymous. An information session about the selectmen’s plans will be held on Monday, October 30, at 6 p.m. at Ossipee Town Hall. Voters will have the final say at a special town meeting on Tuesday, November 28.
Sokokis owner Bill Sheehan says a third party offered to buy his property and donate 90-feet of shoreline to Ossipee for a beach, but Selectman Morgan asked the campground owner to “keep his promise” to sell the entire business to the town. Meanwhile, the Select Board says ‘no’ to a request to hold weekend hearings on the purchase so that non-resident Ossipee taxpayers can attend.
The town has struck a deal to purchase a big lake campground off Route 16B for $1.2 million, subject to the approval of voters at a special town meeting, possibly in November. Details of the plan will be presented and discussed at a series of public hearings prior to the final vote, according to officials.