Frequently Asked Questions

What hours is the Town Clerk-Tax Collector open?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

The Town of Gilford Town Clerks office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; Thursday 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorRegistration:
If you are 17 years of age and will be 18 years by the next election, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Gilford you may fill out a voter registration card at the Office of Town Clerk-Tax Collector. The voter card is forwarded to the Supervisors of the Checklist who will then determine eligibility for addition to the voter checklist.  Picture identification is required.  Proof of age and citizenship may also be required. You may also register to vote on Election Day at the polling place.
The Supervisors of the Checklist also hold sessions in accordance with the requirements of state law. The sessions are held at the Gilford Town Hall.  The law requires posting of those sessions in the local newspaper.
Supervisors of the checklist:

Connie Moses, Chair         528-1531               
Mary Villaume                   528-2238
Irene Lachance                  524-9034

Where do I vote?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

Most Gilford elections are held at the Gilford Middle-High School gymnasium.

Where can I obtain an absentee ballot?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

Absentee ballots are available for all elections if you qualify by being absent from town on Election Day, observing a religious holiday or have a physical handicap according to RSA 657:1. If you are a registered voter, you may request a ballot in writing. Fax requests can be accepted as long as they are signed.

Click here for the Absentee ballot request.

How much does it cost to get a copy of a birth, death or marriage record?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

It is $15.00 for either the search or first copy and $10.00 for each additional copy received at the same time.

Can I obtain a certified birth, death or marriage by mail?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

Yes, the request must be in writing and accompanied with a photo ID and a proper check made payable to the Town of Gilford. Visit the following link for the correct form. http://www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords/

How far does my house/garage/pool have to be from my property line?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use Department25 feet in the side and rear yards.  Front yard setback is 35 feet in the Single Family Residential (SFR) and Commercial (C) zones, and 50 feet in all other zones.  Only docks and boathouses may be placed within 50 feet of Lake Winnipesaukee.

How long do I have to wait for my building permit to be approved?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentBy statute we may take up to 30 days for a residential permit and 60 days for a non-residential permit, but we try to have permits ready much quicker.  See R.S.A. 676:13.

Can I tear down my house and rebuild in the same building footprint or foundation?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentIn most cases, yes, you can rebuild your house in the same footprint, but not in all cases.  Contact the office for an answer regarding your specific situation.  Also, see Article 9 in the Zoning Ordinance.

My neighbor has cut down some of my trees. Can the town do anything about this?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentNo, the town cannot get involved in such matters.  If a neighbor cuts your trees, installs a driveway on your property, or does other similar things, it is a private matter between property owners.  The town would only be involved in regulatory issues such as permitting and inspections.

I have a grandfathered, non-conforming lot. Can I build on it?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentIn most cases, yes, you can build on an existing non-conforming lot.  You must first obtain a driveway permit, secure septic approval or a sewer permit, and meet all current setbacks.  Please call or visit the office for a determination for your specific situation.

Why wasn’t I notified that my neighbor was building a new house?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentNo notice is required to build a house and none is provided.  A building permit is required, but not a public notice.  No notice is required for a commercial building permit either, although abutters are notified when the Planning Board reviews a commercial site plan which is required before the town will issue a commercial building permit.

Do I need a building permit to put up a fence? Where do I have to place the fence? Do I have to place the “good” side toward my neighbor?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentYes, a building permit is needed for a fence.  The fence must be placed one (1) foot from the property line unless it is a common fence and the neighbor agrees to placing the fence on the property line.  You do not have to place the “good” side toward your neighbor (although a spite fence is not allowed – see R.S.A. 476:1 to 476:3).

What is the zoning of my property?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentThere are eight (8) zones in Gilford in various locations around the town.  Four (4) zones are residential, three (3) are commercial, and one (1) is industrial.  All islands except Governor’s Island are zoned Island Residential (IR).  All of Governor’s Island is zoned Single Family Residential (SFR).  For other zoning information, please contact the office.

Where are the Historic District boundaries and what impact does the Historic District have on me?

Posted by: Planning and Land Use DepartmentThe Historic District generally includes all lots fronting along Schoolhouse Hill Road, along Belknap Mountain Road from Gilford Avenue to the schools, along Tannery Hill Road, and along part of Potter Hill Road.  The regulations of the Historic District require property owners to have all outside building and site changes first approved by the Historic District Commission.  For specific boundaries and regulation information, please contact the office.  Also, see Article 14 in the Zoning Ordinance.

How much does it cost to get a marriage license?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorThe charge is $45.00. The license is good for 90 days from the date of application and can be used anywhere in the State of New Hampshire. If it is not your first marriage, you will need a certified copy of either the FINAL divorce decree or a certified copy of civil union or annulment documents or a certified copy of the death certificate. A blood test is not required to obtain a marriage license at this time.

Where do I obtain a copy of the final divorce decree?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorYou may obtain a copy from the court where the divorce became final, Or you can obtain one with your Town Clerk’s office. To obtain a copy from the Town Clerks office the divorce must have been finalized between 1990 and six months prior to the request. Click here for on-line services.

Where do I license my dog and how much does it cost?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorYou may license a dog at the Office of Town Clerk-Tax Collector. According to RSA 466:13 and RSA 466:1, You are required to present a copy of the current rabies certificate and any spaying or neutering certificates at that time. For a non-altered dog the cost is $9.00, neutered/spayed dog $6.50 and a senior citizen may license one dog for $2.00.  This may also be done on-line.  (Additional fees apply.)  Click here to register your dog on-line.

How long is the dog license good for?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorDog licenses are effective from May 1 to April 30 of each year. Please let us know if you no longer own a previously licensed dog so that we may update our records.

Where do I register a car?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorAuto registrations are a two-step process. You must always start with the Office of the Town Clerk to obtain the registration permit. The Town Clerk is an appointed municipal agent by the Department of Safety. In many cases the state portion of the registration can be completed at the town level. If paying by check you will need one payable to the Town of Gilford and the other payable to the State of NH-MV. However, rulings on the scope of what the state will allow the town to renew changes all the time, so it is the best practice to inquire at (603) 527-4713. http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/registration/faq.html

Where is the closest State motor vehicle office?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorThe Department of Safety is on 23 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. Troop E in Tamworth also houses a State substation. http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/registration/reglocations.html

Can I obtain the cost of a vehicle registration over the phone?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorYes, this may be possible to some extent, but due to a federal privacy act restrictions may apply. Renewal informaiton on website Eb2gove - pay online option has estimates.  Please call or email our office for additional information. dgonyer@gilfordnh.org
Estimates may also be done at our website by clicking on this link.

Where do I get my driver's license?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorAt the Department of Safety, located at 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. Please contact the State if New Hampshire Department of Safety at 271-2371/271-2372 for information on what the requirements are for a NH license. http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/driverlic/dllocations.html

What is the tax year?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorThe tax year is April 1 through March 31

Where do I pay my tax, sewer and Gunstock Acres water bills?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorThe Office of Town Clerk-Tax Collector collects sewer and Gunstock Acres water bills. They may be paid by check made payable to the Town of Gilford and mailed to 47 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford, NH 03249, on-line (additional fees apply), or in our convenient payment box located in our parking lot. Click here for on-line services.

How often will I receive a property tax bill?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorReal estate is billed semi-annually in Gilford. The first bill is usually mailed by the end of May and is due approximately July 1. The second half bill is usually mailed the end of October and is due approximately December 1

How often should I expect a sewer use bill?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorSewer use bills are based-upon a meter reading collected by the Department of Public Works staff. Bills are mailed based upon your quarterly usage.

How do I have my garbage picked up?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorThe Town of Gilford does not provide garbage pickup. You may contract with a private company for pickup at your house.

Can I take my garbage to the dump myself?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorYes, you will need the Taxpayer of Gilford decal to enter the recycling center/stump dump (located on Kimball Rd.) or the Laconia Transfer station (located on Meredith Center Rd.). Coupons may be purchased at the Gilford Department of Public Works and Town Clerk-Tax Collector's Office for $5.00 each, to be used at the Laconia Transfer Station.
(DPW website)

Where do I file a UCC?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax CollectorEffective July 2,2001 UCC's are filed with the Secretary of State's Office, UCC Division, State House, Room 204, Concord, NH 03301. The Town Clerk's Office still accepts filings for federal tax liens, hospital liens and Department of Revenue Administration liens.

Where do I register my Aqua-Therm (water bubbler)?

Posted by: Town Clerk - Tax Collector

At the Town Clerk's Office for a fee of $.50 per unit.

Registration Form

Fireworks

Posted by: Police Department The Gilford Police Department fields many questions about fireworks.  Below is a link to the portion of the state's website addressing fireworks.

 State of New Hampshire - Fireworks

In short, Gilford is a "Prohibted" community.  So, the possession or display of Permissable Fireworks is prohibited.

The exception includes Unregulated Novelty Fireworks, such as Sparklers, Party Poppers, Snappers, and Snakes.

You will find a the Community Restriction List on the website above.  It is also posted at retail stores that sell fireworks.

How can I prevent Burglaries?

Posted by: Police Department

Did you know?
 
#1  A large portion of burglaries the Gilford Police Department investigates take place during daylight hours.

#2  During these types of burglaries, suspect(s) will approach a residence and knock on the door, just to find out if someone is home.  If someone answers, the suspect(s) simply claim to be there for an alleged legitimate reason, i.e. looking for work, looking for some random person, or trying to sell something.

#3  The Town of Gilford has a town ordinance governing over people selling items door to door (Chapter 27), in addition to a Hawkers and Peddlers License from the State of New Hampshire.

What does this mean to you?

Suspicious person calls to the Police during the day are just as important as calls to the Police at night.  Burglars take advantage of people working normal business hours.  They also take advantage of residences that are not secure.

Some burglars are like electricity, they take the path of least resistance.  If they don’t have to force their way into a residence, a homeowner might not realize what has happened much later.  If they find it difficult to get into your home, they may choose to move on.

What can you do about it?

Take measures to secure your home.  Document what valuables you do have, and set that information aside in case of an emergency.

Imagine what you can do with a couple of digital photographs.  In a few clicks, you can photograph the item, photograph the model number, make, even serial number.  A photograph of a piece of jewelry is far more informative than a brief written description.  You could even place these photographs on a CD or DVD and keep that disc at work, in case of a fire.

If you have a person(s) approach your residence and you feel that they are suspicious, call the Police.  Be the best witness; note their description(s), vehicles, etc.  Even if they are conducting legitimate business door to door, know that they still need permits to do so, and the Police can verify those permits.

Use your eyes and ears and trust your gut!  If something doesn’t feel right, call!  And, don’t wait; call as soon as you can.  While stale information may still help, we stand a better chance finding a person and questioning them at the time they are seen.

The telephone number to the Gilford Police Department is 527-4737.