Laconia raising price of vehicle registration


LACONIA — It will soon become a little more expensive to register a motor vehicle in Laconia.

The City Council decided Monday to increase to $5 a registration surcharge that helps pay for road improvements and other transportation needs.

The charge now stands at $1.50. The city registers about 20,000 vehicles per year, so the $3.50 increase is expected to raise an additional $70,000 annually.

City Manager Scott Myers said the hike will go into effect on July 1.

He said the additional money can be used to help pay costs for a $2.5 million transportation bond that is included in the proposed budget. There is also an additional $1.55 million in transportation funding in the budget as the city works to upgrade roads in need of repair.

Bond debt makes sense as a way to handle large projects in a community, Myers said.

Also, interest rates on a 10-year bond of this type are only about 3 percent.

"From a longer-term perspective, rates are historically low right now," he said. "We would expect more normal levels as the economy improves."

At a council meeting on March 27, Councilor Robert Hamel explained that this fund will be flexible for a number of potential transportation uses.

"All the things this fee can help support go from roads to bridges to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, parking lots, electric charging stations for vehicles," he said.

Councilor Henry Lipman said city roads are in major need of improvement.

"My recollection is we are about $10 million short of where we want to be in terms of having our roads up to condition," he said.

The city manager concurred.

"I think it's a greater number than $10 million, but yes we are many millions behind in bringing everything up to an acceptable average or better condition," Myers said.

The surcharge was created under state legislation, which capped the fee at $5. Hamel said a proposal in the Legislature would increase that cap to $10.


Chamber Community Hero awards recognize Franklin developer, others


FRANKLIN — The Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce held its Community Hero awards ceremony at the Franklin Opera House Tuesday night, and, fittingly, the winner of the coveted James R. Irwin Award was Todd Workman, who is leading efforts to revitalize downtown Franklin.
Workman heads PermaCityLife, which owns seven block buildings and three mills in the downtown area of the city and is undertaking renovations focused on environmentally conscious living and quality of life measures.
"We desire a downtown that is walkable, locally sustainable, and has a distinctive sense of place" said Workman.
Other nominees for the award, which is based on portraying pioneer service and attitude to the Lakes Region, economic visionaries and a spirit of progress in the community were Randy Eifert, Al Mitchell and Rusty McLear.
Winner of the J. Bart Conners Award, which is awarded to an individual who best exemplifies an outstanding dedication and commitment to the mission of the Lakes Region Chamber, was Penny Raby of Malone & Dirubbo, who has served the chamber in many capacities, including chair of the Finance Committee. Other nominees were Ted Fodero, Donna Keeley and Maureen Wilkins.
The Hurst Award, which is presented to an individual who represents the citizens of the greater Franklin area, demonstrating a volunteer passion for the betterment of the community was well-known local radio personality and Winnisquam Regional High School baseball coach Fred Caruso. Other nominees were Michael Mullavey, Melissa Lee and Ken Merrifield.
The Public Service Award, for demonstrating a commitment to leadership and charity and public service, was presented to Clare Persson, founder and chair of Stand Up Laconia. Other nominees were Bob Cormier, Tony Felch and Allison Ambrose.
The Young Professional Award winner was Kara LaSalle of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust. Nominees are individuals with a strong community engagement, demonstrating leadership development, inspiring role models. Other nominees included Jaimie Sousa, Brie Stephens and Katelyn Nash.
The Student Leader Award winner was Jackson Williams of Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith. Nominees are currently enrolled in school, whose studies and extracurricular activities show entrepreneurial spirit and peer leadership. Other nominees included Kyle Minery, Brittany Petell and Ryan Kelly.

04-12 Hero awards group
Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce presented Community Hero awards Tuesday night at the Franklin Opera House. Shown, from left, are Kara LaSalle, Young Professional Award; Todd Workman, James R. Irwin Sr. Award; Jackson Williams, Student Leader Award: Clare Persson, Public Service Award; Fred Caruso, Hurst Award; Penny Raby, J. Bart Connors Award. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

04-12 Hero Persson

Clare Persson, winner of the Public Service Award, accepts congratulations and the award from Kevin Donovan, president and CEO of LRGHealthcare, at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Community Hero awards ceremony at the Franklin Opera House Tuesday night. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Laconia Police Log 3/23-4/11

Laconia police responded to 1,269 calls for service from 12:20 p.m. March 23 to 11:05 a.m. Tuesday, including 15 for theft, five for assault, four for drug-related offenses and four for burglaries. A total of 31 people were arrested.

Arrested on March 23 was Rachel Lynn Newton, 24, of 75 Pine St., on a bench warrant.

Arrested on March 25 was Erica J. Dearborn Hodgman, 34, of 103 Emerald Drive, on a warrant.

Arrested on March 27 was Steven R. Rei, 27, of 180 Union Ave., Apt. 3, on charges of domestic violence (simple assault) and criminal mischief (vandalism).

Arrested on March 28 was Alicia M. McLean, 29, of 30 True Road, Apt. 54, Meredith, on bench warrants and a fugitive charge.

Arrested on March 29 were Brandon M. Miles, 20, of 19 Varney Court, on a conspiracy charge; Danielle S. Maupin, 20, of 14 Hoyt Road, Gilford, on a conspiracy charge; Ricky Davis, 21, of Wakefield, on an armed robbery charge; Timothy Byron, 28, of 15 Robin Shore Drive, Canterbury, on a bench warrant; and Roman Cornelius, 28, of 16 Electric Ave., Apartment A, Penacook, on charges of escape and breach of bail conditions.

Arrested on March 30 were Aaron Akers, 19, of 47 Oak St., Apartment A, on charges of operating without a valid license, resisting arrest and possession of drugs in a motor vehicle; and Bobbi Jo Smith, 40, of 544 Province Road, Belmont, on a bench warrant.

Arrested on March 31 were Shawn Patraw, 35, of 380 Mile High Road, Apartment 26, on charges of habitual offender, disobeying officer and on two arrest warrants; Christopher Greene, 24, a transient, on a bench warrant; Joshua Gary Pike, 30, 190 Manchester St., Concord, on a bench warrant, an arrest warrant and for breach of bail conditions.

Arrested on April 1 was Dale Crumb, 72, 37 Port Way, on a charge of driving under the influence.

Arrested on April 2 were Chad O'Connor, 25, of 58 Girard St., on a charge of driving after suspension; Megan S. Long, 20, of 29A Starboard Way, on a charge of driving under the influence and conduct after an accident.

Arrested on April 3 was Leo M. Hanson Jr., 50, of 21 Chestnut Ave., Gilmanton, on a bench warrant.

Arrested on April 4 were Arturo Fabian Pineda-Otero, 30, of Flushing, N.Y., on charges of driving after revocation, possession of controlled drugs, organized retail crime enterprise and use or possession of theft detection shielding device; Roger Bustos-Perez, 28, of Elmhurst, N.Y., on a charge of organized retail crime enterprise, and Hernan Avendano-Martinez, 29, of Queens, N.Y., on a charge of organized retail crime enterprise.

Arrested on Friday were Steven Belanger, 31, of 38 Spring St., on a bench warrant and on a charge of possession of controlled narcotic drugs; Rachel L. Mount, 39, of 12 Snell Road, Meredith, on a bench warrant; Damien LaFlamme, 18, of 123 Union Ave., Apartment 7, on charges of criminal trespass, resisting arrest and willful concealment; Michael Lindsay, 30, 560 Union Ave., Apartment 4, on a charge of violation of probation or parole; Joshua Robert Marquis, 26, of 204 Garfield St., on a bench warrant; Lindsey McNeel, 30, 560 Union Ave., Apartment 4, on a charge of violation of parole.

Arrested on Saturday were Jason Holmes, 33, of 21 Audrey Lane, on charges of domestic violence (false imprisonment) and domestic violence (simple assault); Robert J. Walker, 54A Patriots Drive, 49, on charges of driving after revocation due to DWI, conduct after an accident and driving while intoxicated, second offense.

Arrested on Sunday was Shaylyn Mowery, 22, of 106 Warren St., on a bench warrant.

Arrested on Monday was Christopher Amato, 41, of 39 Dolloff St., on an arrest warrant; Christopher Michael Blodgett, 43, a transient, on a bench warrant.

Arrested on Tuesday was Audrey C. Dodge, 25, of 265 Pleasant Street, on a warrant.