Seven city roads may become ‘emergency lanes’


LACONIA — In two weeks, the City Council will consider designating seven private streets as emergency lanes, ensuring that the city can continue basic maintenance on these roads.

While the city has been maintaining these roads over the years, there is no paper trail showing they were ever authorized or accepted as city streets.

State law says public funds can't be spent on private roads, and it is a long process to convert a private road to a public road. However, the law does allow the city to continue basic maintenance on emergency lanes for purposes of ensuring access to firefighters, police and paramedics.

A policy will be drawn up for council consideration on how much maintenance work will be done on these roads once they are designated emergency lanes.

“The goal will be to keep these roads passable, plowed, general maintenance for the streets but not necessarily new pavement going forward,” City Manager Scott Myers said.

Public Works Director Wes Anderson there are 200 roads in Laconia that are private and privately maintained. For another 47 roads, the city has been providing maintenance, but there is no record that they are owned by the city.

The City Council will consider designating seven of those roads as emergency lanes on Aug. 28: Cotton Hill Road, Dell Avenue, Eastman Shore Road North, Lucerne Avenue, McKinley Road, Regis Road and Wentworth Avenue.

Meantime, the city will continue working on making a determination of the ultimate designation for the remaining 40 roads that receive city services without evidence of city ownership.

  • Written by Rick Green
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Meredith to look at unexpected funding

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUNMEREDITH — The town may accept up to $887,050 in unanticipated funds from several sources, including the $182,156 supplemental highway block grant signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu last month. Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Monday to accept the money.
Other unexpected funding includes $300,000 from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Fund, $250,000 through the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), $107,500 from the state Department of Environmental Services’ Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, $20,000 from the NH Moose Plate Program, and $8,000 from Turn Up The Heat.
There also is $4,600 associated with the Pathways Nature Trail, $1,250 with Pathways Maps, $2,174 with Community Center Kids Programs, $870 with the Community Center, $500 in general assistance programs, and a family gift of $10,000.
The public hearing, required before selectmen can accept the money, will take place during Monday’s meeting, which begins with a workshop session at 4:30 p.m.
During the workshop portion of the meeting, selectmen will be discussing a waterfront infrastructure project proposal and the water and sewer annual report.
Also on the agenda is a proposed bridge-painting project on Interstate 93 and discussion about a memorandum of understanding with other towns to work together in order to achieve lower electric rates.
A committee appointment rounds out the agenda.

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
  • Category: Local News
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Lake Winnisquam amputee swim postponed

BELMONT — A medical emergency forced Mike Welsch to postpone his attempt to swim the length of Lake Winnisquam yesterday.
Cliff King, who was to pilot the boat accompanying Welsch on the first leg of his swim, said Welsch was admitted to Lakes Region General Hospital early Thursday morning, and was likely to remain there overnight until doctors were confident that he could be safely released.
Welsch, who had one leg amputated after an accident while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, has completed swims on all of New Hampshire’s lakes except for Winnisquam, and he planned to enter the water at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and swim to the dock at Winnisquam Market in a journey he expected to last between four and six hours.
King said he did not know how soon Welsch might be able to reschedule his swim.

— Tom Caldwell

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
  • Category: Local News
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