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Stafford House gets an energy makeover

LACONIA — Residents of the Stafford House, originally built in 1912, will soon be living in a more energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable building, thanks to $500,000 in funding through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and construction management expertise from Resilient Buildings Group, Inc. (RBG).

In addition RBG was able to secure an additional $120,000 in funds from energy efficiency programs through Public Service of New Hampshire (electric) and Liberty Utilities (natural gas), and the Public Utilities Commission's Solar Rebate Program.

The building, owned by the Laconia Housing Authority (LHA), has 50 independent-living residential units for income qualified elderly households in its 36,000 square feet. Energy improvements follow recommendations from an energy audit and include air sealing and insulation in the attic, front entry, roof, hot water heating pipes, air sealing between apartments; installation of 149 triple-pane, low-e replacement windows; LED lighting with "smart" controls in offices, stairwells, community room, laundry, and common areas; a 34.5 kilowatt solar-electric photovoltaic system; and 1.28 gallon toilets which replace the 4.5 gallon existing fixtures. LHA expects to reduce energy use by 29%, saving LHA $23,500 each year. Moreover, Renewable Energy Credits from their new PV system will bring in an additional $3,000 each year.

Dick Weaver, Executive Director of Laconia Housing Authority, said of the project: "The Stafford House is an important housing resource in downtown Laconia. In need of a significant capital infusion, the City of Laconia sponsored our application to the Community Development Finance Authority for the CDBG funds. Not only will the rehabilitated structure reduce its water and energy consumption, but the residents will enjoy a vastly improved living environment."

Laconia Housing Authority owns over 300 units of affordable housing in the Lakes Region and administers over 400 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. LHA is entirely self-funded and is governed by a five member Board of Commissioners appointed by the Laconia City Council.
Originally built as the Laconia Tavern Hotel in 1912, it was advertised as an upscale hotel with luxury amenities. The 100 rooms came with or without private baths, telephones, and hardwood floors with rugs. Elevators, electric lights, and its own automobile garage made this hotel very modern. The most famous of its guests was President Eisenhower. It was operated as a hotel until the early 1970s when it was converted into apartments. The NH Division of Historic Resource approved this project based on RBG's Request for Project Review application.

Resilient Buildings Group is a mission-driven for-profit subsidiary of The Jordan Institute, a non-profit organization focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy public policy, program design, and, through RBG, project implementation. RBG's services include energy audits, energy-centric construction management, energy monitoring and verification, building commissioning, LEED certification and consulting, and energy related consulting. For more information, visit www.ResilientBuildingsGroup.com.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 09:19

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Moulton Farm holding ‘Fun Run’ 5K on Nov. 8

MEREDITH — On Saturday, November 8, Moulton Farm will be holding its second annual "Farm Fun Run" provides a unique 5k course that takes participants around the farm, through fields most people never have been in and part of the farm's corn maze. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the start of the run at 10 a.m.

"It's definitely a unique course," says John Moulton, owner of the farm. "On some parts of the course the runners are on pavement. On other parts they are going through fields or running on dirt tracks used by our tractors." The course and the event are the brainchild of the farm's field manager, Kyle Lacasse.

"The idea was to have fun and give people a chance to experience a different part of the farm," says Lacasse. "Last year we had a wide range of runners from people doing their first five kilometer run to school teams. We even had parents and children running together." It was also fun for the supporters who watched the race and cheered the runners on. After the last runners finish the farm gives out its "Cob Awards" in the one of the farm's greenhouses. "It's a fun event and medals just didn't seem to fit," Lacasse notes. "We're a farm, so this seemed much more appropriate. Plus the emphasis is on fun, rather than competition. We do, however, provide times for people who wish to see how they did."

In addition to the 5k course, the farm will have a shorter course available for children who wish to participate but need a shorter distance.

There is no charge for the event and runners can register the day of the event, although the farm does encourage people to print out and bring a copy of the registration form that is available on the farm's website at moultonfarm.com/funrun2014/.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 09:10

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Record year for Irwin Automotive group

LACONIA — In the course of almost six decades the world and the automotive industries have seen a lot of changes. In October of 1955 the Irwin Ford dealership opened its doors to the Lakes Region community. Most models at that time had crank windows and seat belts were not even a standard feature.

Robert H. Irwin added the Ford dealership after having great success with his Lincoln Mercury dealership which he had opened in 1951.

Fast forward almost six decades and 3 generations of Irwin's later, the most recent addition, Chris Irwin, Vice president says that the Irwin Automotive Group is now coming off a record year of over 4,000 retailed new and used vehicles, making them one of New Hampshire's largest dealerships with 21.37 % growth. This record year has also given them the title of one of New Hampshire's top 20 fastest growing companies by NH Business Magazine.

Pete Irwinr, second generation, added Toyota in 1979, and then added Scion in 2002. Irwin's Used Car Center was built in 1994 and was located at 446 Union Ave in Laconia. In 2009 the Irwin's completed a 12,000 square foot expansion of their Bisson Avenue location, which now totals 72,000 square feet on more than 15 acres and 600 vehicles. Laconia Quicklane Tire and Auto Center was started in the late fall of 2010, and in 2011 the Irwin Automotive Group expanded to include Hyundai. The Used Car Center was converted into a brand new state of the art Hyundai facility during the winter of 2012. In the spring of 2013 NH Car Credit, a division of Irwin's, was founded.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 08:54

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Craft fair at Taylor Community on Saturday

LACONIA — The public is invited as Taylor Community residents, staff and friends hold a craft fair Saturday, Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Elm Room, Woodside Building. Admission is free.
Craft raffles and a weaving demonstration will take place in the morning. The Woodside Café will be open for both breakfast and lunch with good food, friendly service and reasonable prices.
Taylor Community is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community whose mission is to provide the highest quality retirement living options to support the independence, health and dignity of community residents. For more information, call 366-1400, or visit www.taylorcommunity.org for more information.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 08:43

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