Meredith Public Works actually spent more money keeping up with winter of 2013-2014

MEREDITH — Despite the heavy snows and lingering cold, the Department of Public Works has spent less to date on winter maintenance this season than last.

This year the DPW has spent more on overtime wages and sand purchases than a year ago, but less on vehicle maintenance, salt purchases, snow removal and fuel supplies.

In 2014-2015 overtime expenses were $64,797 compared to $61,827 last winter, a difference of $2,969 while the $69,841 spent on sand was $9,783 more than the $60,058 expended a year ago.

Last year sand purchases cost $154,886, or $23,140 more than the $131,746 spent this year. Vehicle maintenance cost $41,476 in 2013-2014, but $34,009, or $23,140 less, this year. Fuel supplies, which cost $66,105 a year ago, cost $46,020, or $320,085 less, this year. And DPW spent only $5,292 removing snow this winter compared to $6,216 last, a difference of $923.

Altogether the department has spent $38,862 less than last year and about the same amount less than was budgeted for this year. Town Manager Phil Warren told the Board of Selectmen yesterday that the lower costs reflected the difference between the two winters. A year ago warmer temperatures enabled the DPW to apply more salt while this year colder temperatures required the use of more — and less expensive — sand. He also said that the department experienced fewer break downs this winter.

'Right-to-work' enjoys strong support on delegation

CONCORD — Only one member of the Belknap County Delegation — all of whom are Republicans — voted against the so-called "right-to-work" bill which carried the New Hampshire House of Representatives this week by a vote of 149 to 146.

Representative Dennis Fields of Sanbornton alone voted against the measure, which was endorsed by 13 of his colleagues — Representatives Glen Aldrich, Russ Dumais and George Hurt of Gilford, Robert Fisher, Bob Luther, Peter Spanos and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Valerie Fraser of New Hampton, Ray Howard and Peter Varney of Alton, Shari LeBreche and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, and Herb Vadney of Meredith.

Representatives Don Flanders of Laconia, Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton and David Ruseell of Gilmanton did not vote.

Earlier in the session a similar bill failed in the New Hampshire Senate when its 24 members deadlocked 12 to 12.

Pair of heroin overdoses reported in city over weekend

LACONIA — City police and fire/rescue crews responded to four non-fatal overdoses of drugs over the past weekend.

Capt. Bill Clary said two of them were heroin-related and two of them were pill-related.

He said one was on Winter Street, one on Warren Street, one on North Main Street and one was in the Weirs.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the Winter Street overdose was "about as close to fatal as it can get." He said the victim, who is not being identified, was about 18-years-old and had a respiratory rate of one to two beats a minute.

"She was literally a gasp of air away from being dead," he said.

Erickson said she was treated with Narcan — an opiate antidote — and taken to Lakes Region General Hospital.