Auditors report Laconia is on strong financial legs

LACONIA — The city administration, especially the Finance Department, received high marks this week when Scott McIntire of Melanson Heath, the independent auditors, reported to the City Council on the city's financial condition as of June 30, 2014.

McIntire noted that actual revenues exceeded projections by $349,161 and actual expenditures were $1,911,472 less than budgeted appropriations, leaving an excess of $2,260,633, which represented "very strong operating results." Likewise, he stressed that the unassigned fund balance $5,574,412, representing 10.5-percent of total general expenditures, reflected the city's "good solid financial position."

McINtire said that the city's outstanding debt of $8,788,000 and the school district's outstanding debt of $26,410,000 amounted to 16 percent and 21 percent of their legal borrowing limits respectively. Furthermore, he said that nearly three-quarters of the outstanding principal will be retired during the next 10 years.

NOTE: Following a second public hearing, at which no one spoke, the City Council unanimously approved a zoning ordinance restricting the dispensing, cultivation and process operation of marijuana for medicinal purposes to the industrial districts in the city. The Legislature authorized the use of marijuana to treat specified medical conditions and he New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has received proposals from non-profit corporations to operate facilities in four geographic zones, one of which consists of Belknap, Rockingham and Strafford counties. DHHS has not disclosed where the applicants propose to operate nor has the agency awarded licenses.

Kenneth Mertz defeats Wesley Hayes for New Hampton board

NEW HAMPTON — Kenneth Mertz defeated W. Wesley Hayes 154-136 for a three-year term as selectman.

Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a $2,750,180 operating budget by a  217-84 vote.

Only one of the other 19 warrant articles failed to pass, article 11, which would have appropriated $30,000 for the purchase of a new or used fully equipped emergency operations command vehicle. It failed by a 143-149 vote.


Karen Ober defeats Mitch Lewis by 75 votes in Sanbornton

SANBORNTON — Incumbent Selectman Karen Ober defeated challenger Mitch Lewis in yesterday's election by a vote of 285 to 210.

In addition, Incumbent Budget Committee Chair Earl Leighton garnered 262 votes and newcomer Craig Davis garnered 232 to be the top two vote getters for that committee. Craig Weisman and Justin Barriault finished with 217 and 187 votes respectively.

The second part of Annual Town Meeting convenes tonight at 7 p.m. at the Sanbornton Central School.

Sue Allen & Chris McDonough win election to school board

GILFORD — Incumbent school board chairman Sue Allen (498) and newcomer Chris McDonough (450) yesterday won three-year terms on the School Board, defeating Jennifer McGreevy (361),Pamela Hayes (301) and Skip Murphy (269).

Voters approved a $25,3 79,651 budget, which was $7,000 less than last year's, by a 876-122 vote.