Belknap House needs another $8,000 to receive $25,000 matching grant

LACONIA — The Belknap House is nearing the end of its matching fundraiser campaign and has until Feb. 14 to raise $25,000 to receive another $25,000.

As of yesterday, Colleen Garrity, the chairman of the board, said they have raised $17,220, leaving a balance of $7,780. On Thursday, she said at a dining for dollars event at Lavinia's in Center Harbor, a generous person made a $1,000 donation in memory of a former employee of the Laconia State School who had some mental health issues of her own.

The Belknap House is an not-for-profit organization that seeks to open an emergency  cold-weather shelter in Laconia at 200 Court St. by October of 2016.


Incumbents seek re-election in Meredith

MEREDITH — Three sitting selectmen, whose terms expire in March, have filed for re-election. Nathan Torr, the current chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Jonathan James, who is serving his first term on the board, are candidates for three-year terms. Michael Pelczar, who is also serving his first term, has filed for a one-year term.

Stephen Nedeau has filed for re-election to a two-year term as Moderator.

The filing period closes on Friday, January 29.

– Michael Kitch

Belmont Town Meeting to discuss groundwater protection Saturday

BELMONT — The deliberative session of the annual Town Meeting is this Saturday at the Belmont High School at 10 a.m.

Voters will be able to discuss and make changes to warrant articles, including Article 8, which is the the town's operating budget request of $7,345,399. If this fails, a default budget of $7,427,658 will go into effect for 2016.

The one article submitted by petition can be discussed but not changed at the deliberative session is Article 2 which, if passed, would prohibit all industrial uses in the Aquifer and Groundwater Protection District. The Planning Board does not recommend this article.

Article 3 is a bond for $375,000 for the purpose of reconstruction a box culvert on Hoadley Road. Because this is a bond, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote and is supported by both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee.

Article 4 will allow the selectmen to enter into a long-term lease for a new pumper truck for Belmont Fire and Rescue for up to $560,000 payable over a term of 120 months. The article allows the town to raise and appropriate $63,507 for the first years payment and further authorizes that this money come from the Fire/Ambulance Equipment and Apparatus Special Revenue Fund which was established for the purpose of purchase large equipment. Because the lease does not include an escape clause, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote. The Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend this article.

Article 5 proposes to amend a vote taken in 1999 that restricts all ambulance billing revenue to the Fire/Ambulance Equipment account to restrict all but the first $45,500 to the account. For at least five years, the town has been using a small portion of this account for training expenses, medical and supply expenses and ambulance billing fees. A 2/3 majority is needed to pass and both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend passage.

Article 6 proposed to use the same Fire /Ambulance equipment account to purchase a new command vehicle for $40,000. The selectmen and the Budget Committee recommend passage and since this is a one-time only expense, a simple majority is needed to pass.

A number of warrant articles seek to add a total of $855,950 to seven capital reserve accounts including bridge repair and highway reconstruction.
Voting on the articles will take place on Election Day, March 8. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector's Office will be open until 5 p.m. today to take filings for office, as it is the last day to file.