Signs would mark Business Rte. 3 in Laconia at a cost of $4,500

LACONIA — The City Council will consider a proposal to to erect signage designating Court Street and Union Avenue, from one end of the city to the other, as Business U.S. Rte. 3 when it meets Monday night.

Earlier this year Charlie St. Clair, who has sought to add the signage since the 1990s, renewed his effort by reminding the council that prior to the construction of the U.S. Rte. 3 and N.H. Rte. 11 Bypass this stretch of roadway was designated as Route 3 but since has been designated as N.H. Route 11-A and N.H. Route 107. He contends that visitors unfamiliar with the area would be more likely to travel into the city knowing that they would ultimately be routed back to U.S. Rte. 3. Motorists are directed to business route in other parts of the country and the state, he said, particularly where bypasses circumventing downtowns have been constructed.

St. Clair and others have noted that Google Maps still refers to Court Street and Union Ave. as Business Rte. 3.

Authority over signage within the so-called "urban compact zone", the area where the city maintains, manages and polices state highways, rests with the city. However, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction at the beginning of the bypass on Rte. 3 in Belmont and at the junction of Rte. 3 and Rte. 107.

The signs would be erected at seven locations along the corridor defined by Court Street and Union Avenue between the Belmont town line near the entrance to the bypass to the east and McInyre Circle, where Union Avenue, Lake Street and Lakeshore Road intersect at the Gilford town line, to the north. Signs would be erected at the east end of Court Street, the Court Street Main Street intersection, the intersections of Union Avenue with Church Street, Gilford Avenue, Messer Street and Elm Street and at McIntyre Circle.

Paul Moynihan, director of public works, has recommended that 13 Business Rte 3 signs, 13 black and white arrows, 12 north-south signs and 13 sign posts will be required to mark the route at an estimated cost of $3,315. In addition, Moynihan estimated the cost of erecting the signs at $1,200, bringing the total cost of the project to $4,515.

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Summit Ave. residents asking for stop sign to slow traffic down

LACONIA — Residents of Summit Avenue, the street that carries traffic from Route 11-B over the bridge to Governor's Island, which lies in Gilford, have petitioned the City Council to address recurrent speeding on the road.

Several years ago the speed limit on Summit Avenue was reduced from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. However, the residents claim that "the speeding problem continues to this day" and the efforts of the Police Department have brought "little relief to our neighborhood."

The residents trace the problem to "many of the residents, their guests and contractors who frequent Governor's Island." Others driving on the street are leaving or returning to homes on the mainland, which requires them to reach nearly a full stop in order to turn left on to Wentworth Cove Road. With this mind, the residents suggest placing a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Wentworth Cove Road, which they believe will "go a long way in solving the speeding problem."

The council will consider the petition when meets on Monday, Sept. 28, beginning at 7 p.m.

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Shaheen visits Meredith waterfront to drive home a federal budget point

MEREDITH — Rallying support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which Congress has so far been unwilling to reauthorize, United States Senate Jeanne Shaheen yesterday strolled along the town docks and through Hesky Park, two of nine projects in Meredith, which together have received $381,477 from the fund since it was established in 1965.

The senator was accompanied by Phil Byrce, director of the division of parks and recreation at the New Hampshire Department of Resources and economic Development, two of his colleagues, Eric Feldbaum and Bill Gegas, Cam Brensinger, chief executive officer of NEMO Equipment, Inc. of Dover, a manufacturer of outdoor gear, and John O'Brien of the Nature Conservancy.

Shaheen explained that LWCF is a partnership between the National Park Service and the states to acquire and develop land for public outdoor recreation. The program is funded exclusively with revenue from leases granted for off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas. She said that although the LWCF enjoys broad bipartisan support, reauthorization of the program, which is set to expire on September 30, has run afoul of dysfunctional congressional politics that threaten to shutdown the federal government.

Liz Lapham of the Great Meredith Program said that she was surprise to learn that the LWCF has funded the reconstruction and expansion of the town docks, renovation of Hesky Park and development of Scenic Park, three projects which distinguish the town's waterfront. "This is the most important part of town," she told Shaheen. "Residents and visitors are here all the time. Pointing to the Inn at Mill Falls, she said "it supports our local economy."

Bryce stressed that the LWCF finances "projects that are very close to local communities that often do not have alternative sources of funds." Gegas, who administers the program and monitors the projects, added that the investments represent "a perpetual commitment to maintain space for outdoor recreation on the part of local communities. It's forever, he said.

Shaheen asked local officials and residents to urge their representatives in Congress — Republican Frank Giunta in the 1st District and Democrat Anne Kuster in the 2nd District as well as Republican Senator Senator Kelly Ayotte — to reauthorize the LWCF.

Since the LWCF began approximately $40 million has been distributed in New Hampshire, including $27-million for more than 530 projects in 180 cities, towns, school districts and counties and $13 million for state-sponsored projects in state forests and parks. Belknap County has received more than $3 million, including some $635,000 for 14 projects in Laconia, including the recently opened Weirs Community Park.

CAPTION: United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen (center) toured the town docks in Meredith with Liz Lapham of the Greater Meredith Program to the left and Phil Byrce, director of the division of parks and recreation, John O'Brien of the Nature Conservancy, and Cam Bresinger of NEMO Equipment, Inc. to the right. (Courtesy photo).

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