Grants headed to Laconia & Gilford total $1.4M

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) yesterday announced the the award of four Community Development Development Block Grants to augment financing of three projects in Laconia and one in Gilford.

The Laconia Area Community Land Trust received a $250,000 grant, which it will apply toward the construction River's Edge, the three-story apartment building with 32-units overlooking the Winnipesaukee River near the downtown Avery Dam.

Another $250,000 grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region to defray part of $700,000 cost of purchasing the former St. James Church, which is being converted into the first permanent home the club has enjoyed in seven years.

A third grant of $500,000 was given to the Laconia Housing Authority for the renovation of the Strafford House, or The Tavern, at the corner of Main Street and Church Street. The 100-year old building provides 50 units of low-income housing, which require electrical, heating and plumbing improvements. Lower operating costs, especially energy efficiencies, will offset the cost renovation.

In Gilford, the Old Lake Shore Cooperative, a manufactured housing park, received a grant of $418,000 for improvements to the infrastructure, particularly the water system which suffers from leaks and contamination and fails to comply with federal environmental regulations.

Altogether the CDFA awarded 14 CDBGs with an aggregate value of $5.27, of which the grants to Laconia and Gilford represented $1.4-million. State Senate Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia), whose district includes both municipalities, noted that "these are competitive grants, so it is a testament to our communities that we have been granted such a large portion of the the total funds allocated in this round."