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Luxury townhomes selling well along Scenic Road at the Weirs

LACONIA — With 13 of the 19 townhomes overlooking Lookout Rock sold, Southworth Development, LLC , the owner and developer of Meredith Bay at the Weirs, has begun marketing the 24 condominium units at the North Lodge across Scenic Road, which are scheduled to be complete in November.

"We're building as we sell, which is right where a developer wants to be," David Southworth, founder, president and chief executive officer of the firm, said yesterday.

Southworth Development acquired Meredith Bay in 2006, when Richard Mailloux and his family of Bedford, who initiated the project — called Akwa Soleil — three years before, encountered financial challenges. At the time the development stretched across more than 400 acres either side of Rte. 3 and consisted of three elements. On the east side of Rte. 3, 173 house lots were planned on 140 acres atop Brickyard Mountain with a 73-slip marina, beach club, restaurant and shops on the lakefront below. Across the road, 450 residential units and a golf course would be built on 215 acres.

Within a year the development was renamed Meredith Bay. Southworth confessed he ruffled feathers in Laconia, but explained that a map designated the expanse of Lake Winnipesaukee overlooked by Brickyard Mountain "Meredith Bay." More significantly Southworth reconfigured the development on the mountain, shrinking the number and enlarging the size of the lots. He said that about 30 of the 129 lots have been sold, including many of those with expansive views of the lake, but acknowledged that it would be some years before the project was complete.

Meanwhile, Southworth acquired properties on either side of Scenic Road at the foot of Brickyard Mountain, assembling more than 30 acres, where 19 townhomes have been built between Scenic Road and the lake. The "North Lodge," the first of four matched buildings, each with 24 units, is underway across Scenic Road just north of the townhomes. Chris Duprey, project manager at Meredith Bay, noted that after acquiring two small lots earlier this year, he expects to seek approval from the Planning Board to build four townhomes, two units either side of the North Lodge, this summer.

Southworth said that "The Townhomes" and "The Lodges" have provided a diverse menu of inventory priced between $500,000 and $700,000. "We can offer townhomes on two floors, condominiums on one floor and single-family homes," he said. Duprey said that the town homes of 2,800-square-feet on two stories with finished basements have sold for between $545,000 and $670,000, mostly to second home buyers.

"The Lodges" consist of 24 single-floor units — six on each of four levels — with two or three bedrooms, ranging from 1,414 to 2,021 square feet. The living area of each unit offers an expansive view of the lake and is graced with an outdoor deck. Three elevators carry residents from an underground parking garage directly to their individual units. Southworth remarked that on learning that the elevators added $50,000 to the cost of each unit, focus groups convened in the planning process split evenly. Units at the "North Lodge" are priced between $500,000 and $700,000, with the prices rising with the size and level of the unit.

"If you want to spend in the $500,000 range," Southworth remarked, "you'll get a real headache at Meredith Bay, where there is lots of choice."

Duprey said that the Planning Board has approved construction of another 72 units divided among three buildings mirroring the "North Lodge," which would be built opposite the townhomes. Southworth said that when 14 or 16 of the units at the North Lodge are sold, work would begin on the first of the three buildings, stressing that the pace of sales will set the pace of construction.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:19

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Sue Rayno presented with Tilton's Boston Post Cane

TILTON — Sue Rayno, 96, was presented with a replica of the town's Boston Post Cane by town officials in a ceremony held yesterday afternoon at her Calef Hill Road home.
''When I first moved here in 1968 there was nothing from here to the corner,'' said Rayno, who was raised on a farm, also on Calef Hill Road, but located a few miles away in Sanbornton.
Rayno, who said that she has no living relatives, says that she is blessed to have ''the world's best neighbors. All of my friends and neighbors have their children come in to see me and all the little people in the neighborhood give me big hugs.''
She can remember life on the farm where she hitched up teams of horses and operated horse-drawn machinery to help mow the fields at two farms.
During World War II she recalls that her brothers ''were frozen to the farm'' as they were classified as essential workers and were exempt from being drafted.
''We sort of specialized in cauliflower and broccoli and also raised cattle and hay and sold firewood,'' she recalls.
She also recalls her mother deciding to raise AKC registered Dachshunds but said that the job took seven days a week and she preferred working only five or six days.
She said that she had ''three wonderful husbands, one at a time,'' and continued to have a large garden after moving to Tilton and considers herself fortunate that she has a neighbor who is willing to mow the fields and harvest the hay from her property.
She also worked at Arwood Engineering for 16 years where she was the only woman in the office there.
Asked by Pat Consentino, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen if she would ride in the parade at the annual Tilton-Northfield Old Home Day on Saturday she eagerly replied ''I wouldn't miss a free ride.''
Consentino said the town's original Boston Post Cane is kept at the Tilton Town Hall and that there will be a plaque put in place next to it which notes that Rayno is the current holder.
She said that the Boston Post Cane tradition was started by the Post as a publicity stunt under the ownership of Edwin A. Grozier in 1909. The newspaper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include a community's oldest women in 1930.
The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956. In the 1930s the Boston Post had grown to be one of the largest newspapers in the country, with a circulation of well over a million readers.


CAPTION: postcane tilton
Tilton officials presented 96-year-old Sue Rayno, center, with the Boston Post Cane as the town's oldest resident. Making the presentation were Tim Pearson, finance and IT director for the town, who is a neighbor of Rayno, Selectman Joe Jesseman, Pat Consentino, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen, and Selectman Jon Scanlon. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:04

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Meredith man charged with rape of child

MEREDITH — After a two-week investigation, police arrested a local man yesterday and charged him with one count of raping a child who was under 13 at the time of the alleged assault.

Mark W. Thurber, 42, of Chase Street has been charged with one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault and is being held at the Belknap County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

Police said they began their investigation when the alleged victim reported the assault to police on June 16. They said she is a friend of Thurber's family.

Police said they are interviewing other alleged victims and ask that if the general public has any information to call Det. Cpl. John Eichhorn at the Meredith Police Department at 279-4561 or Det. Nathan Buffington at Tilton Police at 286-4442.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:47

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Extreme heat will kill bed bugs but how do you safely & cost effectively generate it?

LACONIA — Although bed bugs pose no risk to public health, their proliferation poses a challenge to landlords in a city where rental units represent 44-percent of the housing stock and house four out of every 10 people.

Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Beattie, who serves as the city's health officer, said that he fields two complaints about bed bug infestations each month. However, landlords who rent significant numbers of units claim that bed bugs are more common and widespread than the number of formal complaints suggests.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends "integrated pest management," or IPM, which applies various techniques and products to clean and disinfect mattresses, pillows and bed linens while sealing cracks and crevices on floors and walls. However, landlords claim that they cannot rely on tenants to go to the lengths IPM requires. Alternatively, appropriate pesticides can only be applied by professional pest control services at considerable expense, generally beyond the means of tenants.

Shawn Riley, Beattie's predecessor as health officer, said that heat is one of the most effective means of ridding buildings and apartments of bed bugs. He said that bed bugs cannot withstand exposure to 117 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or more. But, applying that degree of heat to all the places where bed bugs hide requires maintaining an ambient temperature of between 140 and 160 degrees for between four and eight hours.

Both Riley and Beattie stressed that because the process is hazardous it should only be undertaken by experienced professionals using proper equipment. Apart from posing a fire hazard, he explained heating a sealed building or unit to the necessary temperature may also cause a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
They said they have directed cautioned against using any type of fueled heating device, particularly the so-called "propane salamander," which is commonly used to warm construction sites in cold weather. Beattie said that using propane salamanders to eradicate bed bugs is contrary to the fire code.

Landlords contend that engaging professional services or purchasing preferred equipment to heat multi-family buildings are prohibitively expensive. One recalled that an exterminator quoted a price of $1,000 per unit to treat a building, which required treatment at least twice a year. The cost, he said, would add $40 per week to the rent of the units, effectively pricing them out of the market. Moreover, when the exterminator was asked about the warranty on the service, he answered that it was good only until he left the property.

The equipment preferred by the Fire Department is an electric heating unit powered by a generator operated from outside the building, which one landlord said costs approximately $75,000. He estimated that five of these devices operating five days a week would be needed to eradicate the bed bugs from the city's rental units.

Landlords question the prohibition again "propane salamanders," insisting that they are designed and intended for indoor use and, if operated properly with close supervision in tandem with carbon monoxide monitoring, do not present an unacceptable risk to public safety.

Then again, neither do bed bugs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:44

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