Big plans underway for Lakeside Avenue at The Weirs

LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers told the City Council this week that plans are underway to reconstruct Lakeside Avenue, replace a water main, upgrade a sewer line, improve the drainage system and perhaps bury the utility lines at The Weirs in time for the running of Motorcycle Week in 2017.

Paul Moynihan, director of Public Works, included the project in his submission to the Capital Improvement Program Committee and Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of the Laconia Water Works placed the water main along Lakeside Avenue between U.S. Route 3 and Tower Street atop the list of capital improvements for 2016-2017.

Meters projected the cost of reconstructing Lakeside Avenue and improving the drainage at $1 million. The upgrade to the sewer, estimated to cost $90,000, would be born by ratepayers. The cost of replacing the water main, estimated at $500,000, would be funded through the enterprise fund of the Laconia Water Works.

Myers said that, depending on the scope of the project, work could begin following Labor Day and continue into November, then resume in the spring of 2017 and be finished by Memorial Day.

Myers said he has approached Eversource about the cost of burying the utility lines. He said that the city is authorized to borrow to finance the project and suggested drawing on the general fund to defray the debt service then applying revenue from the Weirs Tax Increment Financing District to replenish the general fund.

Myers noted that replacing about 360 feet of wooden decking at the north end of the boardwalk at The Weirs, another priority of the Department of Public Works, might be incorporated in the project. Moynihan described the condition of that stretch of the boardwalk as "fair" to "poor," noting that it was last rebuilt in 1987. He suggested composite or synthetic material might be used to replace the wooden deck and estimated the cost of the project at $495,000.

Myers also mentioned the last unpaved "cat alley" at The Weirs — Margin Avenue, which runs for approximately 100 yards between the railroad track and Centenary Avenue north of the bridge carrying Foster Avenue over the railway and intersects Centenary Avenue at both ends. Apart from its unpaved surface, Margin Avenue suffers for lack of drainage.

This year, 5.67 miles of city streets and roads were paved and improved, including to the surprise of the councilors 1,430 feet of Court Street. The council has expected Court Street, from the intersection with Main Street to the Belmont town be reclaimed and overlaid as well as the sewer and drainage improved, next year at a cost of $1.3 million. However, Myers said that with the ambitious plans for 2016 and 2017, the decision was made to pave the stretch of Court Street, which would "buy us another two or three years" before reconstructing the street in 2018.

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Big Turnout for veterans assembly at Inter-Lakes Elementary

MEREDITH — Students and guests at the Inter-Lakes Elementary School Veterans Assembly got to see first hand how an American flag is folded, heard patriotic songs performed by the elementary school band and chorus and saw video presentations prepared by students honoring veterans Tuesday morning.
Julie Krisak, the school's music teacher, who has organized the gathering every other year for the last decade, said there were so many guests this year, more than 100, that the assembly was shifted from the multipurpose room to the school's gymnasium.
''It was the biggest one we've ever had,'' said Krisak, adding that breakfast, which is normally served in the library, was shifted to the cafeteria in the multipurpose room so that there would be enough room for all of the guests.
PTO mothers helped prepare the continental style breakfast, which included muffins, breads, doughnuts, danish and fresh fruit. There was also a pancake station, manned by fourth-graders, who made the pancakes as part of a school math project.
Former Griggs-Wyatt Post American Legion Commander Robert Kennelly and Master Sgt. Elliott Finn, both of whom served in the Korean War, demonstrated how to fold an American flag with assistance from veteran Dennis Bickford of Meredith.
Finn observed that when the 13 folds are completed, the flag resembles a tri-corner hat, the type worn by soldiers in the American Revolution.
Members of the school's Leadership Project, which has been selling patriotic double U.S.A. flag pins and patriotic wrist bands, presented the proceeds from the project to representatives of the New Hampshire Soldiers Home in Tilton. Several veterans from the home attended the assembly.
Among the veterans attending were three World War II veterans who currently live at the Forest View Manor in Meredith; Marjorie Gilman who served in the Waves for three years; Harold Buker, a Marine who served in the Pacific Theater and Frank Banks, who was with the U.S. Coast Guard for two years.
Gilman said that she was based at the Chelsea, Massachusetts, Naval Hospital and rose to the rank of Pharmacist Mate Second Class.
Banks, who grew up on Wakefield, Massachusetts, said he served in the North Atlantic ''chasing German submarines'' at the end of the war.
Buker, a native of Everett, Massachusetts, said that he was at Guadalcanal during 1942 and remembers losing his German shepherd watchdog to a Japanese sniper. He was also wounded himself later in the war and spent over a year in a military hospital.
''They patched me up pretty good. I served with a bunch of good men,'' said Buker, who refers to himself as ''war dog'' when describing his experience in the military.
Krisak said the experience of meeting with the veterans is an important part of learning about history for the elementary school students.

''They know why they are off from school on Veterans Day and understand how important veterans are in our history and why we honor them,'' said Krisak.


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man charged with reckless conduct for discharging muzzleloader on Warren Street (131 w/cut slugged patrick manley)

LACONIA — A Laconia man was arrested late Friday after discharging a gun into the ground behind his home.
On Friday Nov. 7, the Laconia Police Department responded to the area of 44 Warren St. shortly after 11 Friday night for what neighbors believed to be a gun shot being fired.
Sgt. Chris Noyes said that while investigating, officers made contact with Patrick Manley, 53, of 44 Warren St. It was discovered that while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, Manley had discharged a muzzleloader into the ground behind his home. The shot was fired in close proximity to other homes in the neighborhood.
Manley was taken into custody and charged with reckless conduct. He was released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 14 at the Laconia District Court.
Police are asking anyone who has information regarding this incident to contact the Laconia Police Department.