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Alton voters agree to spend $4.2 million on school

ALTON — School District voters here approved a $4.2 million plan for renovation, repairs and an addition to the Alton Central School by a 611-340 vote Tuesday. The proposal, which required 60 percent approval, earned 62 percent of the vote. But an article which would have appropriated $500,000 for a $1 million metal roof at Prospect Mountain High School, with the other half of the money coming from Barnstead, fell short of the required 60 percent even though it was supported by a 526-427 majority. Voters did approve a new two-year contract with the Alton teachers by 575-359 vote. The contract adds $96,472 in salary and benefit costs in the first year and $95,599 in the second year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:44

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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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