Laconia water rate found to be among very lowest in the state

LACONIA — According to the annual survey of water rates compiled by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, only four water system in the state charge less than the Laconia Water Works.

The annual water rate for a single-family home in the city is $220.30, less than half the average annual rate of $473.60 for the 103 water systems reported by the survey.

Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of the Laconia Water Works, said that the low rate reflects the abundant supply of water, the large customer base and significant investment in infrastructure. He explained that the most expansive water systems enjoy economies of scale and lower unit costs while regular investment ensures operating efficiencies.

Laconia Water Works last raised its rates in January 2012. Nuttelman said that because the rate of return has diminished, he has begun to consider another increase to ensure the system can fund the cost of its operations and invest in its infrastructure. He anticipated that any increase would be modest and rates would remain among the lowest in the state.

In the Lakes Region, only the Gunstock Acres Village Water District in Gilford, where the average annual rate is $400, and the Belmont Water Department, with an annual average rate $417.91, charge less than the state average.

The average annual rate is $533.28 in the Tilton-Northfield Water District, $612.46 in Meredith, $810 in Alton and $1,439.92 in the New Hampton Village Precinct, which is the highest rate reported in the survey.

Union Cemetery Repairs Underway

LACONIA — Work is underway at Union Cemetery to repair the damage from heavy rainfall that swept away a stretch of the bank of Durkee Brook while collapsing a culvert and opening a sinkhole along the course of Meadow Brook.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services authorized the emergency repairs to spare nearby grave sites from damage. The bank has been restored and armored with rock along approximately 90 feet of Durkee Brook, where it takes a sharp "S" bend on the north side of the cemetery. Meanwhile, on the south side of the cemetery, with pumps and hoses Meadow Brook has been diverted around the failed culvert in preparation of laying a new culvert, five feet in diameter and about 60 feet in length beneath the gravel roadway.

Both projects are being undertaken by John H. Lyman & Sons, Inc. of Gilford.

Fall Fun in the Lakes Region

GILFORD — It's the time of year when you can have a lot of fun getting lost out in a corn field at either of two local farms which are again hosting visitors at their mazes.
At Beans and Greens on Rt. 1-B in Gilford, the yearly corn maze has become a very popular activity for visitors of all ages.
The first corn maze at the farm was designed by Alex Howe as part of a math project when he was an eighth grader in 2002. When the cornstalks are a few feet high Alex starts designing the maze, making graphs of the entire cornfield on draft paper in order to create his master maze. Workers at the farm then help him remove cornstalks, creating paths and dead ends throughout the field.
When September arrives the corn has grown to more than 10 feet in height and the fields are opened to visitors, who can expect to spend up to an hour finding their way through the maze. Workers from the farm act as "corn cops" to help walkers with directions, which may or may not lead to the right way out, and are on hand to guide those who become hopelessly lost.
The Beans & Greens Farm corn maze is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is also open Friday and Saturday nights for those seeking extra heart thumping thrills and challenges (reservations are required for the night visitors) Day rates: $7 for adults, $5 for children 12 or under. Night rates are $7 for children 12 or under and $9 for all others. Call 603-293-2853 for reservations.
The corn maze at Moulton Farm in Meredith started back in 2000 with a small piece of land across the street from their farm stand.
Rob Stephens, retail manager, was thinking of fun and unique ways to offer fall visitors an experience they would not forget. He came up with the corn maze idea and over the years the designs have grown more complex, to the delight of many visitors.
According to the Moulton's Farm Stand website, when the corn is between eight to 12 inches tall, the paths are cut out using a trimmer and following a giant graph paper map very carefully.
The paths are then compacted and the rocks are removed in order to make the terrain as safe as possible for travelers. As the corn grows, leaves are stripped off the stalks that line the paths to make it easier to see and safer to travel. The corn in the maze can grow up to 15 feet tall.
Prices for the 2015 maze are $7 for adults and children 7 or older and $5 for children 6 and under. Included with admission is access to both a full size maze and a maze designed for very young children, a maze trivia game, and a treat after completing the trivia game. The last admission to the maze is one hour before the farm closes.
Leaf peepers who want to take in fall foliage at its peak have a choice of land or water routes. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad in Meredith offers two hour excursions at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. while one-hour excursions are available from Weirs at 11 a.m., noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. with a choice of a one-hour or two-hour round trip.
There's also a scenic round-trip excursion passing lakes and crossing over Ashland Summit, with views of rivers and water falls which includes a hot buffet luncheon at the Common Man Inn & Restaurant located in Plymouth. The excursion departs Meredith at 11 a.m.
Lake Winnipesaukee cruises are available from Weirs Beach on Saturday and Sunday. The 230-foot-long M/S Mt. Washington has been booked during the day Saturday but cruises will be available on either of the smaller vessels, the Sophie C .and Doris E. There will be a Rock and Roll and Remember Sunset dinner cruise Saturday night starting at 5 p.m. Sunday cruises aboard the Mount will be held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
In Meredith the 4th annual Zombie Walk from Prescott Park to Main Street gets underway at 4:30 p.m. followed by a Monster Mash dance at the Community Park which runs until 9 p.m.
The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness will be hosting the Halloween Hoot 'N Howl on Saturday night from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 40-minute guided tours along a newly designed trail depart every ten minutes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. After each tour guests are invited to warm up with Halloween games and tasty treats. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and dress suitably for outdoor weather.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Science Center at 603-968-7194. Cost is $8 for members and $11 for non-members.
A Vintage Car Show will be held at Canterbury Shaker Village today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presented in partnership with the White Mountain Region Chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America, the show is free with regular admission.
On Sunday Moulton Farm in Meredith will hold an outdoor Farm Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m. to noon. The buffet will include seasonal fruit, baked goods, egg and breakfast meat dishes prepared by the farm's kitchen and bakery staff. The buffet costs $14.99 plus tax per person with a special price of $9.99 plus tax for children 10 and under.
There will be a jazz brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lakehouse located inside Church Landing at Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith.