LRPC awarded $400,000 by EPA


MEREDITH — The Lakes Region Planning Commission has been awarded $400,000 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to perform environmental assessments and prepare remedial plans for so-called "brownfield" properties in the 30 cities and towns in Belknap, Carroll, Grafton and Merrimack counties it serves.

As the Laconia City Council ponders the purchase of the the site of the former Laconia State School on North Main Street, which last housed a correctional facility, funding distributed by the EPA's Targeted Brownfields Program represents a significant factor in its final decision.

Jeff Hayes, executive director of the Lakes Region Planning Commission, said the Laconia State School site is among the high priority properties identified by the commission.

The 2016-2017 state budget directs the Department of Administrative Services to sell the Laconia State School property. The agency will list the property on the open market for approximately six months before granting the city an opportunity to exercise its right of "first refusal" to purchase it, if necessary by matching the highest and best offer submitted.

The EPA defines "brownfields" as abandoned or underutilized commercial or industrial properties, the redevelopment of which is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. The Lakes Region Planning Commission has identified some three dozen sites within the region, some that have been cleaned up, but most that are currently in the program, which are ranked in order of priority.

The process of preparing a brownfield property for redevelopment falls into three phases, beginning with a Phase I, or "screening assessment," which profiles the likely contaminants on the site based on the records of its past uses and observation of its current condition. A Phase II assessment, or "full site assessment," includes sampling to identify the extent and measure the level of contamination. Preparing a "remedial action plan," or RAP, to clean up the property is the last step in the process.

In 2010, Credere Associates of Westbrook, Maine, conducted a screening assessment of the Laconia State School property with some $200,000 in funding from the EPA. In 2012, Nobis Engineering Inc. of Concord, with funding from the EPA, assessed the Blood Building, one of some two dozen buildings on the site, and estimated the cost of removing or remediating hazardous materials before razing the structure at between $225,000 and $365,000. A year later, Credere Associates projected the cost of cleaning up the entire property could fall between $2 million and $3 million.

The city need not own the property to apply for funds to assess it, but must own the property to apply for funds to clean it up. The EPA can contribute up to $350,000 for a Phase II environmental assessment of the property, which Credere Associates anticipates will be sufficient to assess the entire site.

The EPA Brownfields Cleanup Program awards grants of up to $200,000 per property parcel for as many as three parcels a year, with a 20 percent local match in cash or kind. By subdividing the contaminated portion of the site into three separate parcels, the city could apply for as much as $1.2 million in a two-year period to fund clean up at the site. In addition, the EPA provides grants of up to $1 million to municipalities and economic development corporations, like the Belknap Economic Development Council, to capitalize revolving loan funds, which provide low or no-interest loans to for-profit and nonprofit entities for cleanup operations.

Local high schools advance in Division III tournaments

LACONIA — Two Laconia High School teams advanced in their quest for state championships in Division III action Thursday.
The defending Division III champion girls lacrosse team, which finished in first place with a 14-2 record, swamped eighth ranked Lebanon 18-3 in their last game of the season at the Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.
They will meet the winner of the Derryfield-Bow game at 7 p.m. Saturday night at at Bedford High School.
The baseball team, which finished fourth in the division with a 12-4 record, held on to beat 13th ranked Franklin by a 12-7 score. They will play a 4 p.m. Saturday at Robbie Mills Field on Meredith Center Road against an opponent not yet determined.
Friday, the boys lacrosse team, which finished first in Division III with a 15-0 record, hosts eighth ranked ConVal in a 5 p.m. game at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.
Other high schools in the area are also playing in Division III tournaments. The Belmont High School baseball team, which finished third in Division II with a 13-3 record, defeated Stevens High School of Claremont 11-7 Thursday.
In Division III girls softball Franklin, which was ranked second with a 15-1 record, trounced Monadnock 15-1, while third-ranked Prospect Mountain beat Newfound 10-1. Winnisquam lost 2-1 to fifth-ranked Campbell while Gilford lost 5-3 to fourth ranked Mascenic.

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Laconia’s Skylar Tautkus and Lebanon’s Ellie Brine battle during first-round lacrosse tournament action at Laconia High School Thursday evening.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Sachems score early, hold off Franklin rally to win 12-7 and advance in division III tournament

LACONIA — The fourth-ranked Laconia High School baseball team scored early and often and then held off a late rally by the Franklin Golden Tornadoes to post a 12-7 win at Robbie Mills Field Thursday afternoon.
The win puts Laconia in the quarterfinal round of the tournament and they will play Saturday at 4 p.m. at home against an opponent yet to be determined.
After both teams went scoreless in the first inning, Laconia struck for five runs in the second inning, chasing Franklin starter Garrett Fleming, who was replaced at the start of the third inning by Brendan Frechette, who then surrendered six runs in that inning as Laconia took a commanding 11-2 lead.
Leading the Laconia attacks was Andrew Salta, who had three hits including a second inning triple which one-hopped the right field fence. He drove in four runs.
Griffin Nyhan was hit by a pitch to start the second inning for Laconia. Dominic Valliancourt reached on a misplaced bunt and Kyle Johnson singled to left, scoring Nyhan. James Salta later drew a bases loaded walk to plate a run and another scored on a wild pitch before Andrew Salta's triple made it 5-0.
Franklin struck back in the third when T.J. Laramie singled to left and Corey Nelson followed with a single to center, Dylan Cooper advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Bryan Sweet's hard-hit grounder went right through Dylan Dockham's legs allowing both runners to score.
Laconia pitcher Dominic Vaillancourt prevented further damage by by getting Max Joyce to pop out to first and Tyler Arnold to ground out to second.
Nyhan again got things going for Laconia in the third when he led off with a single. Vaillancourt and Johnson both singled to load the bases. Dockham followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Nyhan, but Vaillancourt was gunned down trying to reach third for the second out of the inning. An infield single by Tom Turpin and walk to Bradley Weeks loaded the bases and James Salta was then hit by a pitch which bounced in the dirt, forcing in a run.
Andrew Salta followed with a bloop double to left which plated two runs to make it 9-2 and Carter Doherty's grounder which went by the shortstop brought in two more, making it 11-2.
Franklin got one back in the fourth when J.T. Laramie's single scored Pat Kaplan, whose RBI single in the fifth bought in Joyce to make it 11-4.
Laconia added a run in the sixth when Johnson scored after Dockham dropped a double in between three Franklin players who had converged on the ball in shallow center.
Vaillancourt was replaced on the mound by Andrew Salta in the seventh after Cooper walked and Sweet singled. Franklin scored runs on an errant throw to second base and when Fleming walked with the bases loaded. Salta, who was having problems working from the stretch, found himself in a bases loaded situation and used a full windup. He got Frechette to fly to right, which plated a run, and, after walking Laramie to again load the bases, induced Nelson to ground to third, ending the game.

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Laconia’s Dominic Vaillancourt throws a pitch to Franklin’s Corey Nelson during first-round Division III baseball at Robbie Mills Field on Thursday afternoon.   (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Franklin’s Corey Nelson makes the out on James Salta at third during 1st round Division III baseball at Robbie Mills Field on Thursday afternoon.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)