M’boro now looking at ‘orphaned’ roads

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MOULTONBOROUGH — The problem of orphaned streets, those not documented as public highways yet plowed and maintained with public funds contrary to state law, is not confined to Laconia. Walter Johnson, the town administrator in Moultonborough, said Wednesday there are 200 miles of such roads in the town, which are plowed and sanded at public expense

Johnson described these roads as "private" meaning that while they are public thoroughfares they have not been formally accepted by the town as class 4 or 5 roads. State law (RSA 231:59) stipulates that municipal highway funds can only be spent to maintain Class 4 and 5 public highways that have been formally accepted as such by the municipality. Moreover, Primex, the general liability insurance carrier for many towns and cities, including Moultonborough, considers these roads private roads and that by plowing and maintaining them a municipality forfeits its sovereign immunity as well as its coverage for any personal injury or property damage arising from its presence on them.

In October, the selectmen addressed concerns about providing winter maintenance on these 200 miles of roads raised by the director of public works, Chris Theriault. Johnson said that the selectboard agreed to seek a legal opinion from town counsel as well as discuss the liability issues with Primex to determine the extent of any exposure to the town. Once the information is in hand the selectmen will decide "what is in the best best interest of the entire community." He said that In the meantime, he said winter maintenance would continue.

"There is no intention of turning off the faucet and saying you are on your own," he said.

Johnson said that many of the roads in question were built in the course of developing several large subdivisions, including Swissvale and Balmoral, in the 1970s and 1980s.

NH unemployment rate lowest in nation

Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce presents annual business awards

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2.6 percent and has added nearly 16,000 jobs in the last year, according to Jeffrey Rose, head of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, who was the guest speaker at the annual awards luncheon and membership meeting of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce,
"New Hampshire is doing really well and has recovered from the Great Recession" said Rose, who pointed to a record-setting $300 million collected in the state rooms and meals tax last year as evidence of a strong economy.
He said that the state has a good foundation for future growth and looks to work closely with organizations like the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce to promote economic growth and tourism.
Jay Bolduc of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's was elected as president of the board of directors of the chamber and Bob Fitzpatrick of Vista Foods was elected as first vice chairman.
Outgoing president Warren Bailey, who had served his second stint as president during a three-year-period, donned a Donald Trump wig during the ceremony and handed out imaginary cabinet posts to chamber officers. He was presented with a fire extinguisher as a gift in honor of his service, a reminder of a recent incident in which two of his cars were members damaged after he had jump started one of them. He later was presented with the real gift, a granite plaque.
One of the guests at the meeting, Richard Anognost of Anagnost Realty and Development of Manchester, arrived and departed aboard a helicopter which landed on the front lawn of Church Landing, which again hosted the awards luncheon. Anognost's firm played a role in developing student housing for Lakes Region Community College.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of awards.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding renovations and rehabilitations were presented to:
• The Belmont Early Learning Center, for renovation of a warehouse into a childcare facility.
• Gunstock Mountain Resort, for installation of a 4,100-foot-long alpine coaster.
• Watermark Marine, for redevelopment of the former Burger King property.
• Perma City Life, for renovations in downtown Franklin which added three businesses.
• Stephens Landscaping Professionals, for renovation and expansion of its Moultonborough building.
Golden Hammer awards for new construction were presented to:
• Titeflex Aerospace for completion of a 47,000-square-foot expansion at its plant on Lexington Drive in Laconia.
• Laconia Area Community Land Trust for completion of a 32-unit, three-story permanently affordable housing project in Laconia.
• Middleton Building Supply for redevelopment of its retail store and distribution center in Meredith.
• Lakes Region Community College for its $4.3 million, 13,000-square-foot automotive technology building.
• Diversified Marine for its new facility for their marine supply store at the former B. Mae Denny's building in Gilford.
• Double D Development for its two new residential housing buildings, each with 48 units, which has been leased to Lakes Region Community College for student housing.
Environmental awards were presented to:
• The Inter-Lakes School District for energy improvements which saw a giant solar array completed along with a wood pellet heating system.
• Prescott Farm for its Natural Playscape project which opened last May.

01-26 Jeffrey Rose

Jeffrey Rose, head of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, speaks at the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 Warren Bailey

Warren Bailey, outgoing president of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, donned a Donald Trump whig at the chamber's annual meeting. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 Scott Kalicki

Paul Provost presents Lakes Region Community College President Scott Kalicki with an award at the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-26 chopper

A helicopter carrying Richard Anognost of Anagnost Realty and Development of Manchester, departs from the front lawn at Church Landing in Meredith following the annual awards luncheon of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Alert Meredith police officer helps fend off fire

By BEA LEWIS, for The Laconia Daily Sun

MEREDITH — A local police officer is being credited with averting a tragedy when he spotted smoke coming from a house Thursday morning and stopped to investigate.

"The smoke was just hanging low around the house. It didn't look right," said Officer Phil McLaughlin who went to the door of the 41 Barnard Ridge Road home and awakened the sleeping residents who escaped unharmed with their two dogs. The couple were asleep in the finished basement and were unaware the first floor was filled with smoke.

First Deputy Fire Chief Andre Kloetz said had another ten minutes elapsed a fire would have broken out.

"These guys consistently amaze me what they see when they are on patrol," Kloetz said, crediting Officer McLaughlin for being sharp-eyed and quickly sounding the alarm.

Dave Sticht who owns the ranch style home occupied by his daughter, Amanda Wilson, said she has been renovating the two bedrooms and had moved the contents into the attached garage. Some of her friends had been helping with the project.

Someone working in the garage had apparently started a fire in a wood stove that is vented through a back wall. Fire officials said there was sufficient heat to melt the vinyl siding near the stove pipe that was vented directly beneath the soffit in the eves.

Sticht recounted that his other daughter, Cassi, whose partner is a firefighter in a neighboring community and has a scanner in their home, phoned to tell him that a first-alarm structure fire had just been reported at Amanda's home.

Firefighters disconnected the wood stove and carried it into the front yard, where it continued to billow smoke. High powered fans were set up to help clear the smoke from the house which according to property tax records was built in 1955.

Town Manager Phil Warren said at the scene that the incident spotlighted one of the many benefits of community policing.

01-27 Comforting Dogs 2
The occupants of 41 Barnard Ridge Road in Meredith, comfort their two dogs after they were able to escape from the smoke-filled home after being awakened by a police officer on routine patrol who spotted smoke and stopped to investigate. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

01-27 wood stove

A wood stove sits in the front yard at 41 Barnard Ridge Road in Meredith, after it was pulled from the attached garage of the home. Heat from the stove pipe melted the siding where it was vented and filled the building with smoke while two occupants were asleep inside. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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