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Condo association worried lot merger will give future Kimball Castle development access to Winni beach

GILFORD — The president of a local condominium complex near Kimball Castle raised yet another concern this week regarding the razing of the stone structure built around the turn of the last century.

Reynold Ilg of Broadview Condominiums told selectmen on Wednesday that he fears that Kimball Castle, LLC will merge its portion of the castle property with a 3.3-acre abutting lot owned by David Jodoin.

Jodoin is the principal owner of Kimball Castle, LLC and the castle acre lot that has a 15-foot easement and rights to the private beach on Lake Winnipesaukee owned by Broadview.

Ilg said Jodoin's separate 3.3-acre parcel only gives single-family access to the Broadview Beach.

He told selectmen he wouldn't want to see the big lot merged with the smaller lot because combining the two could give the 25-acres owned by Kimball Castle LLC the same easement rights as the smaller lot, meaning that if the property were to be developed in the future that Broadview Beach could be overrun with additional people.

"We are very concerned," Ilg said, noting that former advertisements for Kimball Castle's sale as an inn listed "beach rights" and, to the best of his knowledge, the actual 25-acres owned by Kimball Castle LLC has no easements to the beach.

Selectmen, in their capacity as trustees of the Kimball Castle properties, must approve any contract before it is submitted to the Belknap County Superior Court for possible approval. Jodoin has given them a draft of what he wants and selectmen held a public hearing earlier this month. The board is now working with their attorneys to evaluate Jodoin's proposal and incorporate the concerns expressed by people who spoke at the hearing into it.

The town holds $90,000 of the $116,000 mortgage on the 25-acre piece of property that was sold with the approval of annual town meeting in 2009. The money from mortgage payments goes into the Kimball Wildlife Trust that manages the rest of the estate for hiking and wildlife preservation.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said yesterday that he has spoken to other people who live in Broadview. He said, in his opinion, it wouldn't make any sense for Jodoin to merge the castle lot with his 3.3-acre separate parcel because that would make the smaller parcel subject to the same restrictions as the larger one.

"He (Jodoin) would lose control over the 3.3-acre lot he owns outright," Dunn said.

Dunn also noted it wasn't in the town of Gilford's purview to determine what Jodoin can or can't do with the small parcel as it relates to the Kimball Castle property.

He said a voluntary lot merger is administrative not legislative and is not a matter for the Board of Selectmen.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:46

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Mystery urn containing ashes left at Alton cemetery

ALTON — Police are reaching out to the general public for help in identifying a urn holding what appears to be human ashes that was left in one of the local cemeteries.

Chief Ryan Heath said workers in a small, town-owned cemetery just off Route 11 near the Gilford line found the square copper urn on August 16. He said a bag in the urn looks like one that would be used by a crematory but police don't want to disturb the contents and area funeral home owners are equally stumped.

"We've been trying to identify who it belongs to but we've go no idea," Heath said yesterday afternoon.

He said it's rare to find discarded ashes but said it usually happens after a house is burglarized and the thieves discover what they've stolen and feel bad about it.

"They'll abandon the urn somewhere and we'll quietly return it to the victims," he said.

Heath said this summer Alton has had relatively few burglaries and none of those victims reported the loss of an urn.

He said he has spoken to other police chiefs in the Alton area and none of them have this listed on their records of items reported stolen. Police have also reach out to local funeral homes, again with no results.

He also said police almost never release this kind of information to the media because it is so sensitive, but it this case it may be their only hope of discovering who owns the remains.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Alton Police at 875-0575.

CUTLINE (photo in news email) Alton Police are looking for the owner of this 5" by 6" by 7" cemetery urn found abandoned in a small public cemetery on Route 11 near the Gilford line.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:40

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Volunteer paint crew needed at Children's Charity House on Tuesday

LACONIA — To be ready to lead the Lakes Region Parade of Homes during the Columbus Day weekend, the Children's Charity House, built at Windemere Ridge by volunteer tradesmen with donated materials to benefit the WLNH Children's Auction, needs painting.
Dale Squires of Lakes Region Builders and Remodelers Association, whose members have undertaken the project, is calling for volunteers to lend a hand on Tuesday, September 3 by painting the entire interior in just one day.

John Groesser of JG New Age Interiors enlisted four of his competitors — Sherkanowski Drywall, Wyatt Drywall, Cullen Drywall and Vergato Drywall — to do in one week what would have taken one contractor three and by Monday the walls will be ready for painting.
Squires said that volunteers, wearing only broad smiles and painting clothes, are needed to start work on Tuesday at 7 a.m. and put in as much time as they can. The color scheme has been selected by the three interior decorating firms on site and the paint, along with brushes and tools, has been donated. Food and drink will be provided courtesy of the Binnie Media, which owns WLNH-FM.
"It's nothing fancy," Squires said, noting that the interior woodwork will be installed after the walls are painted. "It's mostly using rollers with some cutting into corners and ceilings." he said that paintwork is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the project, which is the first home built to benefit the auction since the kindergarten children at Woodland Heights School contributed a gingerbread house that fetched $1,000.
The Children's Charity House is a dramatic 2,200-sq.-ft. craftsman-bungalow-style residence, which will be finished with the very finest materials and workmanship, bedecked with color, flooring, artwork and furniture by local professional interior decorators. The wooded property, purchased for a discounted price, with mountain views will be skillfully landscaped.
Chris Kelly of Re/Max Bayside, who will take a reduced commission to market and sell the home, said that he expects it will be priced between $320,000 and $350,000, but stressed that "it's true value will much greater because of the quality of the materials and workmanship that will go into it. Whoever buys this home will get a once in a lifetime bargain." The proceeds from the sale, representing the difference between the selling price of the home and the value of the non-donated labor and materials to build it, will be donated to the Children's Auction.

Anyone with questions can contact Squires at 455-1594 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

John Groesser (center) of JG New Age Interiors, who corralled the tradesmen from four companies to hang drywall at the Children's Charity House  is flanked by Eric Maglio (left) and Roger Carter (right). Groesser's team did in a week what usually takes three. Now the Lakes Region Builders and Remodelers Association, which built the home with volunteer labor and donated material, is recruiting volunteers to paint the interior.  (Laconia Daily Siun photo/Michael Kitch).

 

Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 05:39

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Pulling in is out around Bristol Square

BRISTOL — Parking in parts of downtown Bristol is all backward now, thanks to a major upgrade to Central Square. But please, town officials are urging locals, bear with the changes and you will get used to them.
The introduction of some two dozen back-in diagonal parking spaces in the square area seems to be getting more attention than the other elements of the $1.6 million project, which included the installation of new water and sewer lines, improvements to the storm drains, the creation of traffic islands, a complete rebuilding of the roadways of the square and its immediately adjoining streets, and the addition of new landscaping and new streetlights.
The project is now essentially complete, according to Town Administrator Michael Capone. The only work that remains is a few "to-do" items on a punch list, he said.
Voters approved the project in the 2010 Town Meeting, Capone said. Some preliminary work took place last fall and, after a pause during the winter, work resumed in earnest this spring. While the project was partially funded through federal grants, much of the cost — $815,000 — will be locally funded through a combination of general tax revenue and user fees charged to water and sewer system customers, Capone explained. The town also approved spending $70,000 on new energy-efficient and more aesthetically-pleasing streetlights, he added.
Capone said that the new water and sewer lines replaced some that might have been as much as 100 years old. In addition, the upgraded water mains will make it possible for downtown building owners to install sprinkler systems, an enhancement which should make the buildings more attractive to developers or prospective tenants, he said.
Capone said Bristol has an active downtown area and the Central Square Project "will hopefully attract more business and investment in the future."
He said the changes in traffic flow and parking are intended to make the square more "pedestrian friendly." Traffic around the square's island is now one-way and there are 24 back-in diagonal parking spaces in the square proper in front of the Rollins Block as well as along North Main and Spring streets.
"Some people have voiced concerns" about the new parking arrangement, but "most of what I hear is positive," Capone said.
Capone said that back-in, on-street parking offers many safety advantages compared to traditional head-in parking. He said people getting out of cars will, because of the vehicle's open door, instinctively move to the sidewalk and away from traffic. Loading items into a trunk or tailgate is easier and safer to do from the sidewalk than the street. Also, it is much safer for drivers to pull out of a parking space head-first, with a clear view of oncoming traffic, rather than having to back out into traffic, with their visibility sometimes further hampered by the heavily tinted windows of the vehicle parked next to them.
"It's like anything else; you get used to it," Capone said. He said that the town has put together brochures which explain the new parking set-up and Bristol police are handing them out whenever they see a vehicle that is parked in a space the wrong way or whenever a motorist raises a concern.
But some people are worried that the new parking arrangement is more of a hindrance than a help.
Cindy Foote, who spends her summers on nearby Newfound Lake, said back-in parking ties up traffic in the square. She said that people backing into the spaces are limited in their maneuvering by the traffic island. She said the process of parking takes longer than turning into a parking space head-first.
"I went down to the Square on Sunday just to try it out," she said, "It took me five minutes (to get into the space properly) and all these cars were stopped to wait for me."
But Capone says that backing into a spot isn't much more difficult than parallel parking.
While Bristol is the first community in the area to implement back-in parking, the concept is not a new one and many other communities have been using it for some time. Cities such as Des Moines, Iowa, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Pensacola, Fla., Indianapolis and New York City already use the model.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:31

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