Milfoil fee

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Milfoil fee

Post  obervantone on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:35 pm

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/74810-house-votes-to-increase-funding-for-milfoil-control

House votes to add $2 to boat fee to fight milfoil; local GOP reps vote 'no'

Published Date Thursday, 30 January 2014 01:38

CONCORD — The Belknap County representatives divided along party lines when the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted yesterday to increase the boat registration fee by $2 and apply the proceeds to control of milfoil and other exotic, invasive aquatic weeds.

Originally House Bill 292 would have required all out-of-state boaters to purchase a decal and applied the receipts to aquatic weed control. However, the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee learned that for the program to break even would require the sale of 35,000 decals at $10 apiece while the best estimate of the number of vessels registered in other states but plying New Hampshire waters fell between 9,000 and 10,000.

The committee, with the support of the Marine Patrol, Department of Environmental Services and New Hampshire Marine Trades Association, amended the bill to increase the boat registration fee by $2, from $7.50 to $9.50 and the share of the revenue earmarked for controlling exotic aquatic plants from $3 to $5.

Supporters of the bill noted that in the last 20 years the number of infested water bodies in the state has risen from four to 80 while funding for matching grants to local lake associations and municipalities to treat and control aquatic weeds has grown at a much slower pace.

The amended bill carried the House by a vote of 164 to 127. Since the bill would raise revenue, it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, which will make its recommendation and return it to the full House for a final vote.

Among the 18 members of the Belknap County delegation 13 — four Democrats and nine Republicans — were present and voting. All the Democrats — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted in favor while Beth Arsenault of Laconia was absent. All the Republicans — Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Don Flanders and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, Stephen Holmes of Alton and Michael Sylvia of Belmont — voted against, while Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier of Alton, Charlkes Fink of Belmont and Bob Luther of Laconia were absent.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:06 pm

I am happy they are doing away with the sticker idea. This was a terrible idea. It placed the full responsibility and financial hardships on marinas. While I do not believe a $2 increase is necessary Milfoil is a major issue that needs to be dealt with.

The silver lining is that they have fixed the change in the law that allowed for the Navigation and Safety fund to be raided. Now at least the money raised will go back to its intent and not used to close the budget gap.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  WHL on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:28 pm

Can you explain how they are closing the gap, sumr?  It is like the gas and fuel tax for the roads.  It should be designated for that not to go into the general fund


Last edited by WHL on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:05 pm

Wolfeboro has a line in the budget this year for almost $39 thousand to fight milfoil in Back Bay and Wolfeboro Bay. I don't think it's too much to ask boat owners to come up with an extra 2 bucks to register their boats. I should also point out that many of the folks who work at milfoil eradication are volunteers! The cost all around would be much higher if everyone got paid to do this!

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:08 pm

WHL wrote:Can you explain how they are closing the gap, sumr?  It is like the gas and fuel tax for the roads.  It should be designated for that not go into the general fund

Agreed... That is exactly what happened about 2-3 years ago. The legislature to close the gap changed the law so that any "surplus" could be taken and applied to the general fund to close the gap. This is exactly what happened with approx. $750K from the Navigation and Safety fund that was a "dedicated fund" funded by boat registrations. The late Dir. Barrett had anticipated his budget for years based on the % decrease in boating registrations. In anticipation of needed capital for improvements the Director set aside within his internal budget $750K for the following year. This so he did not have to cut staff or reduce operations. However, because of the law change that is exactly what happened.

SBONH petitioned the state on many bills to have this reversed which as of last budget it was written in. So this $2 increase this year will stay within the dedicated fund. Again while I do not agree with the increase personally it is good that it stays dedicated and not some beaurocratic sticker that marinas get stuck with.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:12 pm

News Buzzard wrote:Wolfeboro has a line in the budget this year for almost $39 thousand to fight milfoil in Back Bay and Wolfeboro Bay. I don't think it's too much to ask boat owners to come up with an extra 2 bucks to register their boats. I should also point out that many of the folks who work at milfoil eradication are volunteers! The cost all around would be much higher if everyone got paid to do this!

I'm well aware, for I also volunteer for this cause. Wolfeboro made that choice not those who don't even use the lake or areas with milfoil issues around the state.

My contention is that there are other preventative ways that can help eradicate milfoil. One major issue is the permitting process for shore front owners to use chemicals to eradicate the weed. They have to go through a huge process and pay for a permit to do so. If these restrictions were "lessened" so that it made it easier, while staying safe, for shore front land owners to get rid of the weed, then it will go a significant way in reducing the aquatic weed without cost to tax payers or all boaters.  Throwing more money at the issue now that it is here will not solve anything.

PS: little edit: I should have said Volunteered in the past. I don't think I will be any longer for I am not there.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:29 pm

Milfoil is a persistent problem and we have our good years and bad, particularly in Back Bay, but I wouldn't call it throwing money at the problem. It would be much worse without the workers and funding. Chemical treatment, even by a town, is a very touchy subject, so I don't think it would be a very popular idea to ease regulations on the permitting process for private landowners. If I had a boat I would be more than happy to come up with a few more dollars to register it, because milfoil infestation would be a terrible thing for any lake.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:32 pm

News Buzzard wrote:Milfoil is a persistent problem and we have our good years and bad, particularly in Back Bay, but I wouldn't call it throwing money at the problem. It would be much worse without the workers and funding. Chemical treatment, even by a town, is a very touchy subject, so I don't think it would be a very popular idea to ease regulations on the permitting process for private landowners. If I had a boat I would be more than happy to come up with a few more dollars to register it, because milfoil infestation would be a terrible thing for any lake.

I agree to a point. I had no problem donating in Moultonboro for it also was a major issue the farther north you go. I never agree with taxing the entire boating population for localized issues.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:44 pm

That can be argued in different ways. The lake is not owned by local property owners, but rather it is owned by the state. I personally don't have a problem with it being in the tax rate because an infested lake will pull down everyone's property values. The lakes are important assets to all of us, but geez, a medium cup of hot coffee in Dunkin' Donuts is 2 bucks! (for seniors)

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:55 pm

News Buzzard wrote:That can be argued in different ways. The lake is not owned by local property owners, but rather it is owned by the state. I personally don't have a problem with it being in the tax rate because an infested lake will pull down everyone's property values. The lakes are important assets to all of us, but geez, a medium cup of hot coffee in Dunkin' Donuts is 2 bucks! (for seniors)

I think we both agree that it should be done. We just differ on where the $ comes from. I believe the cost of registrations based on the limited resources it is giving back to boaters is already too high.

PS: The argument "the lake belongs to the state" etc... (not saying you) but people use that argument to twist any issue etc. lets not go there.  Laughing 

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:00 pm

Is Lake Winnipesaukee state property? I'm asking because I thought it was.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:12 pm

News Buzzard wrote:Is Lake Winnipesaukee state property? I'm asking because I thought it was.

It is. However the constant argument for shore front owners / land owners of those around the lake vs transient boaters. And the Full time residents vs out of state property owners etc is a debate that goes on and on and on.. So best to check that at the door for this thread will go off track mighty quickly.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:18 pm

I thought the state owned the lakes, thanks.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  sumrluvr on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:35 pm

News Buzzard wrote:I thought the state owned the lakes, thanks.

Come to a couple of hearings and you may hear otherwise. (even from state reps.)

Many who live year around, on the shores or have their towns occupy the shore lines in many cases feel their voices are more important. In actuality the state owns everything from the waterline and everyone should have equal rights to it. While in theory it sounds good and many quote this when making an argument (not implying you just in general) what actually happens is another story. Good topic for another thread.

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Re: Milfoil fee

Post  News Buzzard on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:45 pm

I think the important thing here is to keep the lakes clean. The 3 towns on the east side of the lake all have problems with milfoil and it appears to be an ongoing problem that can only be controlled, not eliminated.

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