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Attorney General negotiated settlement gives 5 Paugus Woods homeowners option to sell property back to the developer

LACONIA — As part of a negotiated settlement with the N.H. Attorney General, developer Brady Sullivan Properties has agreed to buy back the home of five families who purchased homes here in the Villas at Paugus Woods, LLC — if the owners want to sell.

The agreement, which was announced yesterday afternoon, was approved by Belknap County Superior Court on January 27, ending a legal battle that began in December of 2010 when a Sarasota Lane family reported some cracks in their modular home.

Told by Brady Sullivan the cracks were "cosmetic," they notified the state fire marshal and asked for an inspection. Fire Marshal Ken Walsh's affidavits were made public and said that the lag bolts that connect module "C" with the rest of the three-part modular home were not installed.

Walsh also noted that the foundations under the "C" module was not constructed in a way that would support it.

"Because of these failures," wrote former Attorney General Mike Delaney in his filing, "the C Module was physically moving away from the remainder of the house.

The separation of the "C" module was creating the drywall cracks that the family noticed and reported.

Other problems in some of the homes that were inspected were in ventilation and air handling systems as well as electrical issues.

All totaled, Walsh said he got eight complaints and contacted Brady Sullivan to see how the company was going to resolve the complaints.

The Villas at Paugus Woods is a multi-unit sub-division off White Oaks Road. Initially started by a different private developer, the entire subdivision was purchased by Brady Sullivan in 2009.

Brady Sullivan attorneys contended that the City of Laconia had inspected all of the homes and occupancy permits were issued.

On January 13, 2011, city officials, Walsh, and the Brady Sullivan project construction manager met with representatives of all of the subcontractors with the exception of Excel Homes, whose attorneys said the company was in bankruptcy.

Brady Sullivan agreed to stop selling homes while a resolution was in the offing but later asked for and received an exemption for two buyers who had already given up their former homes.

AG Delaney brought suit against Brady Sullivan after learning that an independent inspector had identified 20 code violations that still existed.

The agreement between the state and Brady Sullivan also states that at the attorney generals request, an independent engineer was engaged to inspect every home in the sub-division and fix any defects identified and fix them at Brady Sullivan's expense.

Brady Sullivan must also pay $85,000 in administrative costs and investigative costs to the State of New Hampshire.

Owners of the five homes offered buyouts couldn't not be reached for comment.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 01:41

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County budget displute centers on $112k that was placed in nursing home budget. . . or not really

LACONIA — In the most recent dispute to roil the government of Belknap County, Rep. Colette Worsman, who chairs the county convention, has claimed that the salaries of administrative personnel were overspent by nearly $63,000 in 2013. In a column published in The Daily Sun on Tuesday, Worsman charged that "your tax money went to the bloated upper management's salaries."

County Administrator Debra Shackett not only rejected the charge but contended (see column on page 4) that an accurate accounting of the administrative payroll shows that it was underspent, leaving a surplus that was returned to taxpayers by applying the undesignated fund balance against the amount to be raised by property taxes.

The dispute arises from the budgeting and accounting of administrative salaries.
The county administrator, administrative assistant, finance director, assistant finance officer, bookkeeper and human resources director share their time between the county administration and the nursing home. In order to accurately reflect the cost of operating the nursing home and ensure that the state reimburses qualified costs, the county budget includes two appropriations in equal amounts, one in the nursing home budget and another in the administration budget.

In 2013, $112,758 was appropriated for "professional management services" in the nursing home budget an an equal amount in the budgets of the administrative and finance departments. To ensure that the same appropriation was not spent twice, each quarter $28,189.50, one-fourth of the $112,578 appropriation, was debited to the nursing home and credited to the administrative and finance departments. In the budget the full amount of $112,578 appears as a revenue offsetting the appropriation for the salaries of the administrative and financial personnel.

According to Worsman, by debiting one department and crediting another this "inter-departmental allocation, zeroed out the $112,758 appropriation to the nursing home, which she described as "not real money." Consequently, when she calculated the appropriation for salaries of the administrative and finance departments, she excluded it. She concluded that since $424,795 was appropriated and $487,457 was expended, the budget was overspent by $62,662. Worsman claimed that the overage was applied to administrative salaries.

Shackett insists that the $112,758 appropriated to the nursing home and credited to administration and finance must be included in the total appropriation for salaries, bringing the amount to $518,516. Less actual expenditures of $487,457, she contends, the appropriation was underspent by $31,058.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 01:34

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Unexpected/unpredictable expenses said driving up county's public safety budget

LACONIA — Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward last week provided a classic example of how unanticipated events can drive up spending at the county jail.
While explaining details of his budget to the Belknap County Convention's Public Safety Subcommittee, Ward pointed out how  the inability of one person being held at jail to post $100 bail resulted in a $5,000 hospital bill for the county.

'She was being held in protective custody on $100 bail,and couldn't be released because she was intoxicated. She then thought she was having a heart attack and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was taken to the emergency room. It wasn't a heart attack but the bill was for $13,000, which the hospital discounted to $ 5,000.'' said Ward.
Ward said that mental health spending for inmates needing those services accounts for around $45,000 a year while medications which are supplied by the county for those in custody requires about $4,000 a month — but those numbers are unknowable at the start of the budget year and can only be estimated at that time based on past experience.
Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin said that he has the same kind of expenses facing his department with involuntary admissions to the State (mental) Hospital, which he said require his department to take as many as 300 people there a year, many in the middle of the night, which can require off duty officers to be called in.
Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) advised both department heads that they might want to look at their budget estimates closely as he is calling for the elimination of a $100,000 contingency line in the county budget ''which the county commissioners can do what they want with'' and creation of a contingency fund which the county convention would have more control over.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:40

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Robbie Mills 8 Ball Tourney brings in $3,600; Brulotte is champ

LACONIA — The 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament held Saturday at the Funky Monkey in downtown Laconia raised over $3,600 for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region and the WLNH Children's Auction.
Winner of the tournament was Tim Brulotte, who won every match during the day, while Don LeBlanc was the runner-up. Buddy Diltz placed third and Stan Brallier was fourth.
The tournament, which was started seven years ago by Mike Baron of Baron's Billiards as a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club, attracted 56 entries.
Baron was joined by Tony Felch, John Rich and Brenda Ferland of the Deja Vu Pub Mania Team, in running the event this year. The team raised over $20,000 for last year's Children's Auction and half of this year's proceeds from the Robbie Mills Tournament will go to the auction.
''We had a good tournament with lots of enthusiastic players and are looking to make it even bigger next year,'' said Baron, who along with Felch thanked all of the sponsors, including MetroCast, which donated $1,000.


CAPTION: slugged poolmills

Winners in the 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament, which was held Saturday at the Funky Monkey in downtown Laconia,  included, left to right, Don LeBlanc, second; Stan Brailler, fourth; Buddy Diltz, third, and Tim Brulotte, the winner, who won every match during the day-long tournament. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:37

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