City projects win awards from Lakes Chamber

Rick Wyman, left, president of Meredith Village Savings Bank, which sponsored the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership meeting at Church Landing in Meredith, and Karmen Gifford, right, executive director of the chamber, present a Golden Trowel award to David Kennedy, co-owner of the Holy Grail restaurant in Laconia. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Rick Wyman, left, president of Meredith Village Savings Bank, which sponsored the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership meeting at Church Landing in Meredith, and Karmen Gifford, right, executive director of the chamber, present a Golden Trowel award to David Kennedy, co-owner of the Holy Grail restaurant in Laconia. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)


MEREDITH — The city of Laconia received two awards for recently completed projects at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce's annual awards luncheon and membership meeting held at Church Landing in Meredith yesterday and was also praised by several speakers for helping bring the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival to the Lakes Region.
Outgoing chamber president Lindsay Cota-Robles of the Bank of New Hampshire told the sold-out gathering of 350 people that hosting the pumpkin festival brought "tremendous visibility to our region and over 40,000 visitors."
As a result the chamber, which organized the event, was able to distribute $10,000 to the nonprofit organizations which volunteered for the event. Chamber Executive Director Karmen Gifford said that the chamber is looking forward to involving even more people in the event this year.
The city received a Golden Hammer Award for the $4.2 million addition and renovation to the Laconia Fire Department and was honored for it's Downtown Beautification Community Park, a $3.5 million project which included the Gateway Project and Millstone Park, an 18-month project which saw the rehabilitation of the Main Street Bridge and expanded green space in the downtown area.
During the business meeting the chamber elected a new slate of officers. Warren Bailey will replace Lindsay Cota-Robles as president and the new first vice chairman will be Jay Bolduc of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's. Second vice chairman will be Heidi Laramie of Barons' Major Brands with Penny Raby of Malone, Dirubbo and Company serving as treasurer and John Giere of Wescott Law as secretary.
New board members include Bob Fitzpatrick of Vista Foods, Shanna Saunders of the city of Laconia's Planning Department, Patrick Clausen of Proctor's Lakehouse Cottages and Eric Petell of Meredith Village Savings Bank.
Sue Gaudette of Gunstock Mountain Resort was presented withy the Blinn Ambassador of the Year Award.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding rehabilitations included:
• The Franklin Studio in downtown Franklin , a nonprofit business which is part of a revitalization project offering locally made arts and crafts and a full cafe,
• Laconia Country Club for its renovations, which replaced all fixtures and furniture and flooring while enlarging its deck and creating a new small function room,
• The Landing Zone at Gunstock Mountain Resort, which created a 3,000-square-foot outside dining area,
• Baron's Major Brands, which completed a major store remodel, a major investment by a local, family-owned business,
• The Gilford Police Department for its 6,000-square-foot expansion, which included a state-of-the-art communication system as well as a new emergency operation center,
• Edward Jones, which moved its business to a more visible location at Union Square and upgraded the building exterior and landscaping,
• GC Engineering and Levendi Properties, which purchased and renovated a three-story business property at 633 Main St. in Laconia and made major improvements to the building, which is now completely occupied,
• Fratello's Italian Grille, which completed a major renovation which added a new deck for outdoor seating, and
• Holy Grail of the Lakes, which completed a major renovation to a historic church and opened a new downtown restaurant,
Golden Hammer Awards for new construction were awarded to the following:
• AutoServKia, which relocated from its Belmont location to a new 5,729-square-foot faciliity on Route 140 in Tilton,
• CruCon Cruise Outlet in Moultonborough, which purchased the former Meredith Village Savings Bank branch next to its world headquarters, and completed a rehab project which turned it into the Learning Center at CruCon,
• Foley Oil Company, which sold its South Main Street office in Laconia and built an addition to its existing garage on Old State Road in Belmont, which consolidated all of its operations, and
• McDonald's in Tilton, where the Napoli Group and its contractor, Marceau Construction, completed a remodeling project while the existing restaurant remained open.
The Environmental Award was presented to the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, which has added many green features to its projects in Mer edith, Tilton, Wolfeboro and Laconia.

Teen rolls car, hits wall, not injured

BELMONT — Police did not cite a 17-year-old girl after she lost control of the car she was driving Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Leavitt Road, hit a wall and landed on the driver's side. She was alone in the vehicle.
A supervisor said she needed to be extricated by Belmont Fire and Rescue. She was taken to the Lakes Region General Hospital by ambulance for some minor bumps and bruises but was apparently treated and released.
Police said she was going faster that she should have been going but was wearing her seat belt. He added she was terrified by the incident, had crashed a car that belonged to a family member and they have faith that she has learned her lesson.
"Fortunately, no one else was injured," said the supervisor.
Belmont Police asked that all drivers be aware of driving conditions and that inexperienced drivers use extra caution while driving in the dark or in unfamiliar areas. They added that in this cold spell, as in all of them, there are many road surfaces in Belmont with black ice.

No one there to greet you - Belknap County Nursing Home hasn’t had receptionist for seven years

LACONIA — One of the top priorities for the Belknap County Nursing Home this year is hiring a receptionist for the home, which has not had a receptionist for the last seven years.
Interim nursing home Administrator Bob Hemenway told members of the County Convention's Nursing Home Subcommittee Friday morning that he was surprised to discover that the receptionist position had been funded in the last two budgets but that none had ever been hired.
The $46,000 position is not a part of this year's budget, which was originally proposed by the commissioners, but Hemenway said that it is crucial to the operation of the home.
"The people working in the front office have other responsibilities which are important. What a mistake that was, not to fill it," said Hemenway, who later noted that the lack of a receptionist contributes to lower morale in that office.
Rep. Don Flanders (R-Laconia), chairman of the subcommittee, said that he has many times walked through the front door into the nursing home and found that no one was there to greet visitors.
County Administrator Debra Shackett said she has been with the county for seven years and that during that time the nursing home has never had a receptionist. She said that although the position was funded the last two years, the previous administrator did not believe the nursing home needed a receptionist and had not filled the position.
"It's a real hardship not to have a receptionist," said Shackett, who said that Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) has expressed support for hiring one and is looking to fund the position by finding savings in other areas.


Another major priority is implementing an electronic medical record-keeping program. Hemenway told subcommittee members that the current record keeping system is inefficient and doesn't accurately capture all of the activity for which the county should be reimbursed.
The county currently uses PointClickCare software for the nursing home, but licensed nursing assistants do not have access to it, so they enter information on what they have done into another system at the end of the day.
Hemenway said that it will be 18 months to two years before the benefits of electronic record-keeping can be realized because reimbursement rates won't reflect the new information for about two years.
But he urged immediate action, saying "the longer you wait, the longer it will take for it to have an impact."
County commissioners have already approved encumbering $20,000 in funds from the 2015 budget in order to purchase 12 wall-mounted kiosks this year, which will allow the nursing home to begin to implement an electronic medical record-keeping program as soon as possible.
The change is designed to stem an estimated $185,420 yearly loss in Medicaid income due to lack of adequate documentation of services provided for residents.