Seven years ago, Dana Colburn Jr. was in a financial tight spot. He was looking for a place to live, and he said the town of Henniker, N.H.’s welfare office suggested Rock ‘n’ Birch Campground.
“They told us, ‘There’s a cheap place over there. Go and see the owner, Ray, he’ll put you up’, ” Colburn remembered. “A lot of people who needed it were sent here by the town.”
According to the Concord Monitor, over time, Colburn built a life at Rock ‘n’ Birch – he made relationships with neighbors, raised a family and planted a sprawling vegetable garden.
Now, Henniker officials are telling Rock ‘n’ Birch tenants they need to leave. By the end of the month, Colburn – along with several other residents who call Rock ‘n’ Birch home – will have to find a new place to live.
The town has argued that Rock ‘n’ Birch is only zoned as a recreational campground and not intended for year-round use, an argument the campground’s owner, Ray Panetta, has fought for years. But in May 2016, Panetta settled with the town and agreed to close the campground from November to April 30.
Tenants learned of the agreement in December of last year, and now the deadline is two weeks away.
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