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Heritage Commission will advertise for Hathaway House savior

LACONIA — The Heritage Commission will seek to solicit a party interested in relocating, renovating and reusing the Hathaway House by advertising in local and regional newspapers.

When the commission met this week, chairwoman Pam Clark presented a draft of the notice explaining that if the building is to be preserved, it must be moved and seeking "proposals from qualified parties interested in preservation to move, restore and reuse this historical structure." The commission set a deadline of June 18 for receiving responses.

City Manager Scott Myers said yesterday that hundreds, not thousands, will be spent advertising the opportunity. He indicated that the notices would likely include links to a web page providing images of the Hathaway House as well as information about its history and condition.

Last September, Cafua Management Company, which purchased the property at 1106 Union Avenue in 2000, applied for a permit to demolish the Hathaway House in anticipation of developing the remainder of the lot housing its Dunkin' Donuts store. Since then the Heritage Commission has sought ways to preserve the building. After meeting with Greg Nolan of Cafua to discuss alternatives to demolition the Heritage Commission ultimately conceded that if the building was to be preserved, it would have to relocated.

Meanwhile, Cafua has submitted a proposal to the Planning Department to construct a 4,850-square foot retail building on the northern half of the 1.6-acre lot, where the Hathaway House stands. The building would be reached by a spur off the existing entryway to Dunkin' Donuts. The building would be divided into three units, two of 1,650 square feet and one of 1,550 square feet and would be served by 27 parking spaces.

Clark said that Nolan indicated to her that he expected to begin the project during the current construction season. "We're running out of time," she remarked.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 11:49

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Police Commission leads with wage & benefit package for non-union workers

LACONIA — The Police Commission unanimously approved changes to health insurance plans, raises and bereavement benefits for non-union employees on Thursday even though negotiations with a union representing rank and file officers are ongoing. Typically, non-union employees are offered raises and benefit packages that closely mirror what fellow employees earned through collective bargaining.

Commission Chair Warren Clement said yesterday that negotiation between the patrol officers' union and the Commission are "amicable" and he is confident that they will come to an agreement. The existing contract expires on June 30.

When asked if the terms voted on Thursday for non-union employee are consistent with those that the commission is willing to agree to with the union, he said they were.

Beginning on July 1, each non-union employee will get a 2-percent cost-of-living raise; on July 1, 2015 each non-union employee will get a 2.25-percent cost-of-living raise; and on July 1, 2016, each non-union employee will get another 2.5-percent cost-of-living raise.

As compensation for the elimination of an HMO "high", or more comprehensive health insurance plan, non-union employees were given some additional money, including a $250 annual stipend over the next three years, to compensate for the higher out-of-pocket cost to each employee.

Beginning July 1, in years 2014 through 2016, the city will contribute $1,000 to Health Reimbursement Accounts for each non-union employee to help offset the deductible associated with a new higher-deductible health insurance plan available.

If the money is not used during the year the employee can carry it over to ensuing years but it is not distributable as cash when the employee leaves.

Beginning on July 1, 2015, each employee will contribute 8 percent of the annual premium for health insurance coverage. That percentage will rise to 9 and 10 percent beginning on July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017 respectively.

Employees who can show they are health insured through an outside policy will get 50 percent of $4,040 beginning on July 1, 2014, which is up from 50 percent of $3,300.

Lt. Alfred Lessard presented the proposal to the commission. He said yesterday that health insurance deductibles will increase significantly, for family plans going from a maximum of $2,000 per family to $6,000 per family or $2,000 per person.

Lessard said the new plan for non-union employees is consistent with the plan offered to other non-union city employees.

He said the recommendation for the new plan came from City Manager Scott Myers, who indicated this was what was affordable under the property tax cap and will save the department and taxpayers money.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 05:57

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Management plan being prepared to control milfoil on Paugus Bay

LACONIA — After mapping the presence of milfoil around the shores and islands of Paugus Bay, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) estimates that it will cost $83,000 for several years to bring the infestation under control.

The agency is preparing a management plan, which will include applying a chemical herbicide to some 110 acres, most of them along the western shoreline from the Weirs Channel to the Lakeport Dam and in the vicinity of Christmas Island on the eastern shoreline, as well as deploying divers to remove plants by hand. However, as yet no treatment has been funded or scheduled.

Typically DES funds 40-percent of the cost of treating colonies of milfoil with the balance divided evenly between municipalities and private parties, most commonly associations of property owners.

City Manager Scott Myers told the City Council this week that he has recommended appropriating $20,000 for milfoil treatment in the 2014-2015 budget, almost three times more than last year, and another $15,000 has been carried forward from past years.

Suzanne Perley of the Lake Opechee Preservation Association said that $25,000 will be spent in the spring and summer treating some 30 acres of milfoil in the lake, primarily on the eastern shore below the Lakeport Dam, Opechee Cove and the northernmost reach of the lake near Anthony Drive. She said that DES is expected to contribute $10,000, the city $7,500 and the residents $7,500.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 01:39

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Belmont investigates record number of felonies for 1 week

BELMONT — Police said yesterday they are on track to break a record regarding the number of alleged felonies they have responded to in one week.

According to Lt. Richard Mann, on May 12, an adult woman came to the department with visible injuries caused by an alleged assault by Daniel Elliot, 26, of Concord Street who she said tried to strangle her with a metal broom handle.

Elliot was charged with second-degree assault and was able to post $5,000 cash bail and was released with a number of bail conditions.

Also on May 12, police were able to charge Katherine Urquhart, 29, of Pine Street in Laconia with one count of felony theft by unauthorized taking in connection to a burglary on Laconia Road that had been reported on May 6.

Police said a portion of $30,000 of stolen jewelry was traced to a local pawn shop.

Urquhart is scheduled to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on June 17.

On Wednesday, Mark Royea, 29, of Linda Drive was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of an 8-year-old child who was a passenger in his car. A passenger in the car was placed into protective custody.

Also on Wednesday, police responded to 19 Church St. and found Justice Welcome, 18 allegedly threatening his mother with a baseball bat.

Welcome is charged with two count of simple assault and resisting arrest. The arresting officer zapped Welcome with a Taser after Welcome allegedly hit him during the arrest.

He was also charged with one count of felony criminal threatening.

Belmont Police are also investigating an alleged sexual assault and a burglary on David Drive. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8351.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 01:35

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