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Avery leaves B&G Club post

LACONIA — After three years in the position, Cheryl Avery has stepped down as executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. The announcement that she was leaving to "explore other professional opportunities" was made Tuesday by the club's board of directors.

Avery will be replaced temporarily by (Retired) U.S. Army Brigadier General Patricia Anderson, a Laconia resident who is president of the Laconia Rotary Club and one of the Boys & Girls Club's directors.

Avery's service to the club was lauded by it's president, Walt Flinn. "Cheryl has touched countless children and families," he said. "She led a small but dedicated group of staff which has provided local children with quality programming and education. One of her greatest accomplishments was facilitating the relocation of the club from temporary quarters to its new home in the former St. James Church. She was instrumental in insuring a smooth transition for the club kids, parents and staff.Flinn said he was confident that the foundation that Avery helped build will be used to further develop the club's goals and objectives.

"We look forward to serving area youth for many years to come."

Flinn said the club's board of directors thanked Avery for here years of service and dedication to the children and families of the Lakes Region. "We wish Cheryl every success in her future endeavors."



Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:28

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Council Backs Construction Management Approach for Fire Station Project

LACONIA — The City Council last night approved by a 4-1 vote the use of a construction management firm to oversee a renovation and expansion project at the Central Fire Station which is expected to get underway in October.
Cost of the project is tentatively estimated at between $4.1 and $4.5 million.
The plan includes the renovation of 13,167-square-feet of the existing station to serve as an apparatus bay, training area and storage space and the construction of a two-story, 12,964-square-foot addition to house the administrative offices, emergency operations center and dormitory. The building would be reconfigured to provide public access and parking off Tremont Street, instead of off North Main Street.
The City Council took the vote after a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of hiring a construction management firm or going with an open bid process.
Jonathan Smith of Warrenstreet Architects, Inc. of Concord, who had earlier updated the council members on the schematic design, still underway for the project , said that the latest estimate is that the project would cost $4,541,739 which could be reduced by as much as $425,000 if a $280,000 contingency fund doesn't have to be used and the project qualifies for $145,000 in energy rebates.
He said that he preferred the construction management approach because it gave the city a partner in the construction project. ''You know you have someone on your side,'' he told the councilors and urged them to develop a select list of bidders if they went in that direction rather than have a completely open bid process.
Smith said that construction management firms typically charge a 4.5 percent fee of the total project costs for their services.
Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), said that an open bid process provided ''a true market test'' for the project but that he was comfortable with either approach.
City Manager Scott Myers has included first year debt service on a $4.1 million borrowing for the fire station in his recommended budget for fiscal year 2015.
Voting for the construction management approach were councilors Lipman, Bob Hamel, Amand Bolduc and Brenda Baer. Councilman David Bownes voted against the motion and Councilor Ava Doyle abstained.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 01:43

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Veterans begin drive to restore World War I Memorial

LACONIA — "I got tired of looking at them," Ray Peavey said of the bronze plaques honoring residents who served in the First World War on the lawn of the Laconia Public Library. "They look horrible," he continued, adding that he first thought of replacing the wooden slabs holding the plaques before concluding that the memorial should be renovated and reconstructed.

At his initiative, the American Legion Post 1 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1670, in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department, have undertaken to clean the plaques and mount them on granite. The memorial will remain at its current location near the flagpole at the corner of Main Street and Church Street.

The three plaques, each about 5 feet high and more than 3 feet across together bear the names of 597 men and women who served in the armed forces of the United States between 1917, when the country entered the war, and 1918, when the armistice was signed. Those with stars alongside their names lost their lives in the conflict that began 100 years ago.

The memorial was originally erected at its current location by the city in 1919. The monument to veterans of the Spanish-American War of 1898, which also stood on the library grounds, was moved to Veterans Square, joining memorials to those who fell in World War II , the Korean War and Vietnam War.

Peavey estimates the cost to refurbish and mount the plaques at approximately $5,000. The Veterans Memorial Restoration Fund has been established to raise the funds to complete the project and apply any additional funds to maintaing the memorial as well as its counterparts in Veterans Square. An account has been opened and donations should be sent to Veterans Memorial Restoration Fund, c/o Bank of New Hampshire, 62 Pleasant St., Laconia, NH 03246.

Peavey, who served 27 years in the Marine Corps and Navy who and traces his ancestors to the Civil War, said, "No donation is too small." He said that he hopes the project will be completed by Memorial Day next year.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:11

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Belmont approves state and federal improvement of Jamestown and South Road

BELMONT – After considerable discussion, selectmen voted 2-to-1 to allow the N.H. Department of Transportation to improve the intersection of South Road and Jamestown Road.

The $1.6-million, projected to be completed with money awarded to the state through a federal highway safety program, will improve visibility and provide some additional space through the intersection.

Selectmen Chair Ruth Mooney is against the project. Voting against it, she said that improving the intersection will increase commercial traffic on both roads, meaning the town will ultimately have to spend more on paving and upkeep.

She said that since one of the neighbors at the intersection voluntarily cut back some of the brush that was inhibiting sight lines, she said the number of accidents has gone to one from 20 in 2010.

The project has been in the development and engineering phase since 2012 when the DOT approached the town with the federal offering.

Selectman Jon Pike felt the $1.6 million price tag was too high, but said he agreed with Selectman Ron Cormier that if the state was willing to use federal safety money to improve it, then the town should get it done.

Pike's biggest gripe is that since the state decided to improve the intersection, the road hasn't been paved and the state only put a shim coat near Route 140 when it was last paved.

All agreed that the road should continue to be marked "No Through Trucking" to stop heavy trucks from using South Road as a cut-through from Route 140 to Route 106. All agreed that the police need to patrol the area more often.

Cormier also said that in his experience, when a community turns down state transportation aid, it never gets another opportunity to get more. He also noted that since the town initially asked DOT to look at the intersection, if the town were to reject the project it would make them appear "silly."

He also said that he agrees $1.6-million seems a bit high, but noted that if utility poles have to be relocated, and private property must be purchased, then he can understand where the expenses lie.

Town Planner Candace Daigle also spoke in favor of the project, saying the intersection was part of the Route 140 corridor the site of most of Belmont's commercial and industrial development.

She said for the first time in years, site plan applications for that area are up and all of the many studies of the area indicate that future commercial and industrial growth will be in those areas.


Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 10:59

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