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Workforce housing ordinance passes in Alton

ALTON — An amendment to the town's zoning ordinance which would identify areas where so-called workforce housing is permitted was adopted by an overwhelming 634-297 vote Tuesday.
Petitioned warrant articles which would have had the town not pay $7,000 in fees for membership in the Lakes Region Planning Commission and would have eliminated the positions of town planner and town assessor were also defeated by wide margins.
The LRPC article lost 558-370, the town planner article 650-283 and the assessor article 658-282.
An article to combine the offices of town clerk and tax collector was adopted 609-326.
Cydney Johnson (517) and Lou LaCourse (503) won three-year terms as selectmen, edging out Phil Wittmann (503).

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:39

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Regional planning commissions dodge Cormier bullet in House

CONCORD — The New Hampshire House of Representatives last week scuttled a bill, sponsored by Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) to do away with the nine regional planning commissions by a margin to 238 to 91.

The Municipal and County Government Committee unanimously recommended the bill "inexpedient to legislate." Reporting for the committee Rep. Kris Roberts (D-Keene) noted that municipalities are not required to join or fund regional planning commissions and said that abolishing them would be "foolhardy."

A majority of the 18 representatives from Belknap County supported the bill as 10 of the 13 Republicans on the delegation voted against the motion to kill it. The 10 were Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith and Bob Luther of Laconia. Vadney chaired the Meredith Planning Board and served on the board of the Lakes Region Planning Commission for nearly a decade before becoming a state representative and selectman.

Two Republicans — Reps. Frank Tilton of Laconia and Dennis Fields of Sanbornton — joined the five Democrats — Reps. Beth Arsenault and David Huot of Laconia, Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted with the majority to reject the bill. Rep. Don Flanders (R-Laconia) was absent and did not vote.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:32

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$4.5 million renovation project on drawing boards for Lakes Region General Hospital

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare plans to invest $4.5 million in improvements to the nursing unit at North 4, the section of Lakes Region General Hospital originally constructed in 1969, which will make the facility compatible with the addition joining the hospital and medical office building opened in 2011.

The project will be funded by $3.5 million in donations from the capital campaign launched in 2012 together with $1 million in operating funds.

The infrastructure of the old building, particularly the air handling system which lacks the capacity to meet the increased demands, will be replaced and low flow toilets installed throughout the building.

In keeping with the company's commitment to convert the entire hospital to single rooms, which ensures the privacy of patients and reduces the risk of infection, five beds that were lost when the addition was built will be restored in North 4, where the number of beds was trimmed from 20 to 15. Since a unit of 20 beds offers an optimal nurse-to-patient ratio, it is much more efficient to operate. Each of the rooms will have a private shower and lift system, enhancing their efficiency and safety for both patients and staff. Finally the nursing station in North 4 will be reconfigured and reconstructed to match its counterparts elsewhere in the hospital, enabling personnel to move easily from one station to another throughout the facility.

LRGHealthcare has applied for a certificate of need, required by the state of all major investments in medical facilities, and once it is approved expects to begin work in May and complete the project by February 2015.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:28

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Most county reps support repeal of death penalty

CONCORD — The bill to repeal the death penalty, which carried the New Hampshire House of Representatives by a vote of 225 to 104 yesterday, drew bipartisan support from the 18 members of the Belknap County Delegation.

Only three members of the delegation, all Republicans, opposed repeal — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Bob Greemore of Meredith and Stephen Holmes of Alton.

Another eight Republicans — Reps. Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Don Flanders, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia and Herb Vadney of Meredith — joined with the four Democrats — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — in support of repeal.

Republicans Jane Cormier of Alton and Colette Worsman and Democrat Beth Arsenault of Laconia were absent and did not vote.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:16

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