Hosmer bill could lead to license plate dedicated to Motorcycle Week

CONCORD — State Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) has introduced legislation to convene a committee to study the feasibility of offering a New Hampshire license plate commemorating Laconia Motorcycle Week, the oldest motorcycle rally in the country which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023.

Hosmer said yesterday that the purpose of the plate, which would be offered at a premium price, would be to generate funds to strengthen marketing of the event. He said that instead of seeking to introduce the plate, he preferred to establish study committee that could address the issues the proposal would raise,.

Hosmer noted that law enforcement agencies have expressed concern about the proliferation of specialized license plates and the Division of Travel and Tourism, which annually awards a grant to the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association to promote the rally, may have questions about earmarking additional funds exclusively for promoting the event. He said that the study committee would also consider the pricing of the license plate.

Hosmer said that a positive report of a study committee would lend momentum to a bill to introduce a specialized license plate for Motorcycle Week in a future session of the Legislature. Since the rally has grown and spread across the state, he expected the effort to strengthen promotion of the event would draw support from lawmakers beyond Laconia and the Lakes Region whose districts benefit from the influx of visitors.

The legislative initiative is one of several underway to bolster the flagging finances of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, which is saddled with debt.

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Gilford re-ups trash haul contractor for 2 more years

GILFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously to renew the town's contract for trash removal with Waste Management, Inc. for two more years at a cost of $13,735.

Department of Public Works Operations Manager Mia Gagliardi said she solicited five bids and not only did Waste Management come in at the lowest price, the town has had a very good working relationship with them.

While Gilford doesn't provide home trash pickup, there are containers around town that are picked up by Waste Management, including at the Glendale Docks, the Town Hall, the library and other places around town.

In other business, selectmen scheduled a public hearing for February 25 at 7 p.m. to gather input regarding the town's proposed synthetic drug ordinance.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the contract for the police station expansion has been signed by both the town and the contractor and groundbreaking is scheduled for March 2.

Dunn and selectmen also thanked the Public Works Department for their hard work during the past few storms and asked residents not to berate and swear at the drivers and employees in the office.






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Shaker board backs away from lottery plan for all-day K

BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board has voted not to have two sections of kindergarten at both elementary schools, with class membership chosen by lottery, because of the negative feedback it received from district parents.

Superintendent Maria Dreyer said yesterday that the board reconsidered the lottery concept and decided it was inequitable. Instead, the board returning to its original proposal with regard to pre-first grade education.

A supplementary budget hearing will be held on the revised spending plan at the Belmont Middle School cafeteria on February 17 at 6 p.m.

In the course of budget preparation, the board decided against having full-day kindergarten because of space constraints and chose instead to add a half-day of universal pre-kindergarten.

Parents, who have nothing against pre-kindergarten, felt that the district had been promising them they would have full-day kindergarten and many of them attended a meeting in early January to voice their displeasure.

As a compromise, the board met on January 19 and decided to offer two full-day kindergarten sessions — one at Canterbury Elementary School and one at Belmont Elementary School. While there is plenty of space in Canterbury, there is not in Belmont so the Belmont slots would be chosen by lottery.


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Belknap Commission schedules all-day workshop to find $400k to cut from budget

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners have scheduled an all-day work session Friday to meet with department heads in an effort to come up with $400,000 in 2015 budget cuts which have been requested by Belknap County Convention Chairman Frank Tilton (R-Laconia).
Tilton told members of the county convention on Monday night that he wants to reduce the proposed increase in the amount to be raised by taxes for the 2015 county budget by $1.1 million.

The budget for the year must be adopted by the convention by the end of March.
Currently the proposed $27.3 million county budget would require a 10 percent increase in the amount of money raised by property taxes, about $1.4 million, from $13.6 million last year to $15 million this year.
On Monday night the convention agreed to over $700,000 in budget cuts and Tilton asked Commission Chairman Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton), who was present at the convention meeting, to have the commissioners come up come up with a list of potential cuts to help reach his goal of a $1.1 million reduction.
When commissioners met on Tuesday Commissioner Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) proposed the all-day work session, which will get underway at 7:30 a.m. Friday.
Members of the convention have tentatively agreed to level fund salaries, hold off on cost of living increases and other associated costs for a potential savings of $205,000.
The convention also agreed to fund health insurance benefits at last year's level, $2,624,925 for a reduction of $428,000 from the amount sought in this year's budget by the previous board of commissioners.
The convention also voted to approve level funding for outside agencies with one exception, the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, which had sought a nearly $5,000 increase from $162,818 to $167,698. The outside agency subcommittee, headed by Rep. Robert Luther (R-Laconia), had recommended a $163,000 budget for the Extension Service.
Other amounts approved for outside agencies were $97,304 for the Belknap County Conservation District, $75,000 for Belknap Economic Development Council, $60,905 for the Community Action Program. $34,200 for the Genesis Counseling Group and $11,000 for the Greater Laconia Child Advocacy program.
During the subcommittee meeting which preceded the convention's meeting on Monday, Rep. Roy Howard (R-Alton) attempted to cut funding for several of the outside agencies but was outvoted by Luther and Rep. Dennis Fields (R-Sanbornton). During the convention meeting Howard voted against the level funding proposal.
Commissioners say that they are hoping to come up with a list of proposed cuts which can be presented to the convention when it meets next Tuesday night.
Commissioners and Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward. have been meeting this week with Kevin Warwick, president of Alternative Solutions Associates, Inc., who this week was awarded a $40,000 contract for development of a plan of programs for a community corrections facility.
Commissioners are looking at having the study completed in 90 to 120 days with an eye to asking architectural firms later this year for bids on a jail design. No funds have yet been budgeted for architectural plans for a new community corrections facility.

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