Manchester, equestrians reach compromise on Lake Massabesic riding
From left, horse owner Vanessa Jeunehomme of Candia, Pat McDuffee of Candia, and Judy Lorimer, a member of the Hollis Area Equestrians, rally outside the Manchester Water Works office on April 23. (Union Leader File)
Manchester Water Works Director David Paris said the Board of Water Commissioners agreed to a compromise that leaves one section of fire roads open for unencumbered equines, provided members of the riding community leave no pile behind.
Citing concerns about polluting the Massabesic watershed, commissioners unanimously approved the restrictions in April over the many objections of horse enthusiasts who led a very public campaign before the ruling and continued to pressure the city after it.
The “bun bag” provision, one of the most contentious points during negotiations between the equine community and city, remains in place for all other areas around the lake under the new restrictions that took effect Sunday.
“We’re looking forward to going into it,” Russell said. “Both of us are fully committed to going into this with an open mind.”
Russell had been scheduled to meet with Mayor Ted Gatsas, but it was postponed when Gatsas had heart bypass surgey on April 8. The meeting happened May 21 and Russell said she got a call the next morning from Gatsas, who suggested she attend the water commissioners’ meeting that afternoon.
“We’re looking to have this be a successful program going forward,” Paris said. “I have every confidence it will work.”
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