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Grants available to fund septic system evaluations

MEREDITH — The Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association (LWWA ) is accepting applications for grants to defray a portion of the cost of evaluating, repairing or replacing septic systems from property owners on Lake Winona and Lake Waukewan.

The grants, funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), are intended to assist property owners to comply with the septic system ordinance adopted by the town in 2012. The ordinance requires the owners of undocumented septic systems, designated as high risks of failure, to commission a certified or licensed septic system evaluator to conduct an on-site inspection of them within 24 months to certify that they have not failed. Following the initial certification, property owners would be required to have their systems inspected and certified every five years.

The LWWA has extended the period to apply for grants toward the evaluation of septic systems until October 1. To qualify the property must be a single-family home, duplex or seasonal camp within 250 feet of Lake Waukewan in either Meredith, Center Harbor or New Hampton with a septic system more than 25 years old with no record of having been approved by DES. Property owners are eligible to receive a maximum of $250 and there are sufficient funds for 31 evaluations.

Since the program began in November 2013, 12 property owners applied and 10 evaluations have been completed. In Meredith, four systems failed, two passed and one evaluation is pending while another four system were replaced. In New Hampton three systems passed and one evaluation is pending. One system passed in Center Harbor.

This month the LWWA began accepting applications for grants toward the repair or replacement of high risk or failing septic systems within 250 of either Lake Winona or Lake Waukewan. The grants represent one-third of the total cost, not to exceed $4,000, to repair or replace a failing system. With approximately $40,000, there are sufficient funds for ten $4,000 grants.

For more information contact the Lake Winnipesaukee Association at (603) 581-6632 or www.winnipesaukee.org.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 01:03

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AG's office says tips still coming in on Miller murder

GILFORD — N.H. Asst. Attorney General Ben Agati said yesterday that the nearly four-year long investigation into the shooting death of Roberta "Bobbie" Miller in her home on Country Club Road is still active and ongoing.

He said as recently as last Wednesday, detectives received another tip that they are following up on.

"This is not a cold case," Agati said, adding that the State Police Major Crimes unit has done a huge number of interviews and continues to do so.

Miller and her dog "Scout" were shot and killed by a shotgun sometime between early October 31 and November 1 when her body was found by a relative.

Miller's death certificate says she died within seconds of a shotgun blast to her head and neck with perforations to her skull, brain, carotid artery and lungs. It also lists her date of death as October 31.

Agati also noted that the $26,000 in cash found in an undisclosed location by police during the course of the investigation was likely not related to her murder. He also said it appears the same shotgun was used to kill the dog and Miller.

Miller was the ex-wife of Gary Miller who once owned two car dealerships in Wolfeboro. The two had a protracted and acrimonious divorce that was finalized in August of 2010 — three months before she was murdered.

One year after her death, Miller's family offered a $50,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who killed Miller.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the N.H. State Police Major Crimes Division at 223-8573 or the N.H. State Police Tip Line at 223-3960.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 12:49

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Manager says Meredith can't keep drawing on rainy day fund to keep tax hikes to a minimum

MEREDITH — After seven years of austere budgeting, marked by drawing on the rainy day fund to limit increases in property taxes, Town Manager Phil Warren advised the Board of Selectmen at a workshop yesterday that "consideration must be given to increasing the amount to be raised by taxation" capital improvements, road maintenance and equipment purchases "to ensure the sustainability of our capital assets".

In a memorandum offering guidelines for the 2015 town budget Warren reminded the selectmen that this year $1 million was drawn from the undesignated fund balance to limit the increase in the amount to be raised by property taxes to $192,000. "It is clear," he cautioned, "that the continued use of available fund balance is not a sustainable practice."

Like the budgets of the prior six years, Warren said, the 2014 budget "was neither a level service budget nor a level funded budget". Instead, he noted that as in past years "services have been reduced" and major projects, like the renovation of Main Street and improvement of the town docks, have been deferred.

Warren said that despite reduced expenditures for building maintenance and health insurance and stable revenues from rooms and meal tax receipts, revenues from sources other than property taxes "have not improved significantly in the last year". In particular, revenue from motor vehicle registrations have not risen.

Warren recommended maintaining current level of service without introducing new programs or services. Once again he cautioned against adding new positions, reclassifying existing positions or automatically filling vacancies arising from voluntary separations.

Selectmen Peter Brothers welcomed the memorandum, which he described as "an excellent document", suggesting it be posted on the town website for residents to read. He agreed that "we've exhausted the fund balance for paying down the amount to be raised by property taxes" and suggested that apart from controlling expenses the Selectboard should explore opportunities for raising other revenues in partnership with its representatives in the Legislature.

"We need to modify our overall philosophy going into 2015," Brothers said. "That is the challenge and I think we have to rise to it."

NOTE: The Selectboard approved the request of Mike Faller, director of Public Works, to resurface Main Street and Waukewan Street from the crosswalk at Town Hall to the railroad crossing. "We've got to do something," he told the selectmen, explaining that the project has been deferred in anticipation of the renovation of Main Street, which itself has been deferred. He described the project as "a maintenance fix," which he expected could be completed in two days weather permitting. "It should last five to seven years," he said. "It's going to buy us some time." He proposed applying $121,000 originally allocated to Corliss Road and Livingstone Road to the fund the work. Selectmen Peter Brothers, alluding to the delay in renovating Main Street, endorsed the project as "a good step backwards."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 12:44

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Aavid & its president donate $20,000 to Laconia charities as part of 50th Anniversary celebration

LACONIA — Aavid Thermalloy called Laconia its home when it opened for business in 1964 as Aavid Engineering and 50 years later is home to the corporate headquarters of a firm which has grown from a small manufacturing and engineering firm to one which literally spans the globe and is a recognized leader in devising ways of cooling high tech equipment.
It has grown from a firm with a handful of employees to one which employs more than 2,800 people, including 100 engineers, at its manufacturing and engineering facilities located in North America, Europe and Asia.
Aavid marked its 50 the anniversary at a ceremony held at its Laconia headquarters Friday night which was attended by customers and local officials which featured its global art challenge "The Intersections of Art and Engineering", tours of its manufacturing facility and the presentation of two $10,000 checks to the City of Laconia for distribution to local charities.
One of the checks came from the company itself and the other from Alan Wong, its president and CEO, who said that the company's move last year to relocate its corporate headquarters and design center from Concord to Laconia brought it back to its roots for a very good reason.
''We've been through some tough times and some really good times over the last seven years. This is the most successful plant we've ever had and the most profitable plant we have globally,'' said Wong, who cited the purchase of two homes in Laconia by he and his wife as proof the firm's commitment to the city of its birth.
He said that over the next two years the company plans to hire more people for better paid jobs at its Laconia plant and bring in more professionals to the area and show its involvement in the city through efforts involving the Huot Technical Center at Laconia High School and Lakes Region Community College.
In accepting the checks on behalf of the city, Laconia Mayor Ed Engler said that the city was fortunate to have Aavid here and that it will help shape a better future for the city of Laconia.
He said that as the editor of a local newspaper he was struck by the irony that Aavid got it's name from a typographical error when it's trade name, which was supposed to be Arvid in honor of the middle name of it's founder, was registered.
Arthur Karageorges, Aavid's project manager, says that he has been with the company for 31 years and seen it grown from 1984, when it shipped $1 million a month in products to the point where it now ships $1 million a day.
''We've provided thermal management solutions for hundreds of customers,'' said Karageorges, who recalled that when he was first with the firm it had a warehouse facility in what is now the area of the former Laconia Shoe Company plant on Water Street occupied by Hector's restaurant, where it was all hands on deck to unload shipments of aluminum extruded bars used in the manufacture of heat sinks (devices that draw heat away from devices — like computer processors — that overheat.
He recalled that Ken St. Jacques, who formerly had run the Boulevard Drive-In, famous for its fried seafood and home made ice cream, joined the firm as a partner with Phil Johnson around 1970 and once surprised all of the workers by providing them with breakfast.
''I showed up at work and could smell bacon cooking. Ken had decided to give all the workers bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast.
Later Aavid would become famous for its generous Christmas profit-sharing bonuses, which at first included silver dollars and crumpled bills and became the bane of local banks.
One year, when the company decided to hand out $100,000 in bonuses, it hired two police officers to guard the cash overnight, one of whom was Bob Soucy of Woodland Avenue in Laconia.
He said that Soucy decided it was profitable to work for Aavid than remain in law enforcement and went to work for Aavid, where he is still employed. Sauce's son, Norm is now the company's vice president and general manager of the Global Transportation and Industrial Systems Division and served as master of ceremonies at Friday's celebration.


Aavid Thermalloy employees Julie Wescott and Norm Soucy present a check for $10,000 to Laconia Mayor Ed Engler at a celebration of Aavid's 50th anniversary held at the firm's corporate headquarters in Laconia Friday evening. (Alan MacRae photo)

Laconia Mayor Ed Engler accepts a check for $10,000 from Aavid Thermalloy President and CEO Alan Wong, right, as Brian Bryne, Aavid's vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer looks on. Wong matched a $10,000 gift to the city that the corporation made at a celebration of Aavid's 50th anniversary, held at the firm's corporate headquarters in Laconia Friday evening. (Alan MacRae photo)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 12:36

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