flag image

Selectmen approve MVSB anniversary celebration


May 09, 2019
MEREDITH — An event celebrating Meredith Village Savings Bank's 150th anniversary held by the Greater Meredith program will be allowed to take place at Hesky Park after discussion by the selectmen. The selectmen decided by consensus during their Monday workshop to allow the event and considering that it is on behalf of a business it doesn't constitute a commercial use of the park.

An application for a facility use permit came through the town for the GMP to use Hesky Park for a community event on Sept. 21 celebrating Meredith Village Savings Bank's 150th anniversary. The town has a policy that the parks can only be used for recreational purposes and cannot be used for commercial purposes. As a result Town Manager Phil Warren said the request was initially denied because he thought this was a commercial use. He said GMP Executive Director Liz Lapham explained that this was an event organized by the GMP.

Warren brought it to the selectmen for an opinion because there isn't a clear policy on circumstances of this kind.

Selectman Mike Pelczar said he was in support of allowing this event.

"I think we're making good progress on those parks, and I think it is more or less a community event, and I think Meredith Village Savings Bank has been very influential in helping this town," Pelczar said. "In this case, I welcome it."

Lapham said MVSB is a well respected organization in town, saying this is a mutual savings bank where the depositors benefit rather than the stockholders getting dividends. She said the event will be totally free for everyone and no one in this event is going to make money or sell in the park. Lapham agreed with Pelczar's statement that this is meant as a community celebration

"Just as the Greater Meredith Program facilitated the Meredith 250th anniversary, we're stepping up for this as well we want to help them support their 150th anniversary," Lapham said.

Lapham said MVSB has been a great asset to the town and always willing to provide donations and support for community efforts.

Selectman Jonathan James said while he thinks this is a great idea, he hoped this wouldn't set a precedent for another company to use the park to celebrate a major anniversary.

Selectman Jeanie Forrester said this doesn't set a precedent for that.

"I think it's a great idea, Meredith Village Savings Bank has done so much for this community," said Forrester. "I don't look at them like a business, I look at them like really part of this community if there really were an exception to be made."

Lapham said there will be food served such as hamburgers and hot dogs, a live band, games, and fireworks in the evening. Selectman Nate Torr asked if the fireworks would be off a barge, requiring traffic to be diverted. Warren said it would be a show done from shore like the one by Mill Falls on New Year's Eve which doesn't require traffic diversions.

Board Chair Ray Moritz said he was in favor of this. He said it is clear this is not a for-profit event and since the GMP is sponsoring it it's not setting a precedent for other businesses.

Warren said he was seeking direction on this and would issue the permit if the selectmen agreed by consensus. The board agreed to this.

Garnet Hill
Martin Lord Osman
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com