City starts Front Porch program to recognize people who've made property improvements

LACONIA — To encourage the owners of residential and commercial properties to improve the appearance of their homes and businesses — and with them the look of the entire city — the city has introduced the "Front Porch Award," a program to recognize those who in the eyes of their fellow residents have significantly enhanced their properties and neighborhoods.

Mayor Mike Seymour announced that the first awards were given to Harry and Priscilla Bean of Gilford for the renovation of a 1,700-square foot single family home with four bedrooms and two baths at 94 Messer Street and Combined Investments, LLC of Milton, Mass. for rehabilitating an eight-unit apartment building at 148 Union Avenue.

The program is an offspring of several meetings held in 2011 at which city councilors and department heads outlined a series of goals and objectives. Encouraging property owners to maintain, improve and landscape their buildings and lots was high among their priorities.

Qualified improvements may include major undertakings like renovation and landscaping or measures like painting the building, replacing the windows or hanging new signage.

Anyone may nominate a particular property for an award, by forwarding the address of the property and the reasons for the nomination as well as the name of the owner, if it known, to the City Manager's Office at 45 Beacon Street East, Laconia, NH 03246 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Photographs, especially before and after images, would welcomed, but are not required to accompany nominations.

A Nomination Committee will select the properties to be honored. Recipients will receive a letter from the mayor and City Council, along with a photograph of their property. In addition, with the approval of the property owner, a sign will be placed on the property for about a month designating it as a "Front Porch Award" winner and the property will be displayed in the lobby of City Hall and in the weekly newsletter, "Laconia Links."

NOTE: The City Council this week unanimously agreed to sell a 0.169-acre, land-locked lot owned by the city, which lies at the rear of 253 Gilford Avenue, to the owners of the adjacent property for $1,000. City Manager Scott Myers said the lot was what remained of an abandoned sand pit and was no longer of any use to the city. He recommended that the sale be conditioned upon the merger of the two lots into one, the elimination of a 10-foot municipal right-of-way providing access to the lot from Gilford Avenue and the purchaser paying any costs accompanying the transaction. . . . . . The City Council scheduled a public hearing at its next regular meeting on November 12 to consider offering a 4.89-acre lot on Lexington Drive in the O'Shea Industrial Park for sale. The lot, with 232 feet of frontage on Lexington Drive, lies between Titeflex Aerospace and Medsource Technology, LLC.