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Workforce housing amendments take beating in Sanbornton

SANNORNTON — Former Highway Superintendent Johnny VanTassel bested Budget Committee member Jeff Jenkins by a vote of 372 to 291 in yesterday's election for a position on the Selectboard.

VanTassel will replace outgoing Selectman Guy Giunta who did not seek re-election.

All six zoning ordinance amendments failed as town residents said no to so-called workforce housing. Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 312 yeses and 331 nos. Amendment 2 failed with 267 people voting yes and 384 people voting no.

Amendment 3, which went to the heart of workforce housing, failed by a wide margin with 173 voting for it and 487 voting against it. Amendment 4 also failed by a wide margin with 247 voting for it and 410 voting against it.

One-hundred and sixty people voted for Amendment 5 while 491 people voted against and 219 people voted for Amendment 6 while 434 voted against it.

In the race for the two open seats on the Budget Committee, incumbent Roger Grey got the most votes with 329 of the 692 people who voted and Ralph Rathgen, who is currently a member of the Highway Privatization Committee got the second slot with 296 votes.

Incumbent Judy Burlingame Rich came in third with 262 votes followed by Mitch Lewis who got 100.

The last contested race was for Trustee of the Trust Funds and Gail Morrison bested Curt McGee by a vote of 335 to 261.

Town Meeting convenes tonight at 7 p.m. at the Sanbornton Central School.

Thirty-one percent or 692 of the 2,190 Sanbornton voters came to the polls yesterday. Town Clerk Tax Collector Jane Goss said that was about average.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:29

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Inter-Lakes School Board puts greenhouse project over top with $20k donation

MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes Elementary School's "Living Classroom" greenhouse project went over the top in its fundraising goal when the Inter-Lakes School Board agreed last night to donate $20,000 for the project.
The fund drive for the project, which got underway last September, had a goal of $65,000 according to Dr. Steve Kelley, principal of the Inter-Lakes Elementary School, who says that groundbreaking for construction of the 24 foot by 48 foot greenhouse will be held in the fall, after students return from their summer vacation.
In a letter to Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond, written last week, Kelley said that the project has received nearly $30,000 in donations since last September and that the recent donation of $10,000 by the Meredith Rotary Club, which will be matched by another donor, has put the total raised so far to just around $50,000.
He requested that the district consider a $20,000 donation, a request that the board granted last night.
Supt. Ormond said that the Inns at Mills Falls company agreed to match the $10,000 Rotary Club donation.
The Living Classroom initiative is focused on constructing and supporting a state of the art greenhouse/outdoor classroom which will provide a a unique educational center promoting active learning for students in a "hands-on", experiential learning venue. The vision for the greenhouse includes creatively designed outdoor garden beds, a year-round solar greenhouse that utilizes a solar subterranean heating design, and a composting center.
The board earlier in last night's meeting voted to accept a donation of $26,715.45 from fundraising efforts and contributions to the living greenhouse project.
''This project is an exciting thing. Groundbreaking will take place while the children are here. From start to finish we want small hands involved,'' said Ormond.
That donation was one of five accepted by the board last night which included $800 from the Inter-Lakes PTO for bus transportation for elementary school students to the Children's Museum of Portsmouth; $550 from Lamprey and Lamprey to the support the Inter-Lakes High School After Prom event, $700 from the Inter-Lakes PTO for support of the ILHS Destination Imagination Team and $1,000 from the Hannaford Help Schools Fund to support the Family in Need Fund.
Those donations prompted School Board member Howard Cunningham of Sandwich to say ''I am almost overwhelmed by the frequency with which we get these donations. We must be doing something right.''
Supt. Ormond supported that sentiment saying ''I have never in my 33 years worked in a community as generous''

NOTES: Supt. Ormond said ''the high school did a little dance'' last week when it received its report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges' Committee on Public Secondary Schools which reviewed the two-year progress report for Inter-Lakes High School. The report praised the progress made by the school district in a number of areas, including strategic planning and development of a seven-year curriculum cycle. ''It's not typically what you see in these reports. It's usually a list of things you need to do,'' said Ormond, who praised ILHS Principal Patricia Kennelly and the high school staff for the progress made at the school. . . . . . The board approved a tuition waiver for a foreign exchange student from Denmark for the 2014-15 school year and it was reported that a student from Inter-Lakes High School will be a foreign exchange student in Denmark next year.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:18

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Gilford Budget Committee to pick 12th number tonight

GILFORD — Three residents are officially being considered for the vacancy on the Budget Committee created when member Richard "Rags" Grenier was elected selectman.

The three are attorney Norman Silber, engineer Stuart Savage, and firefighter J. Scott Davis. Davis was the fourth-place finisher in a five-way race for three open spots in March.

David "Skip" Murphy finished fifth in the March race and said he is interested in serving. When contacted yesterday, he said he mailed a letter of interest via "snail mail" — or through the U.S. Postal Service — on Monday.

He said he doesn't know why it never reached the town hall.

The Budget Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Gilford Town Hall. After a opening statement from each candidate, the board will have an open discussion and vote on who will take the 11th spot.

The committee consists of nine at-large members and one member each from the Board of Selectmen, the Gilford School Board, and the Gunstock Acres Village Water District.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:05

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Scott Davis & Paul Gaudet, Jr. elected to airport board

LACONIA — The Appointive Agency for the Laconia Airport Authority this week elected Scott Davis and Paul Gaudet, Jr. to the two open at-large seats on the Authority.

Scott Davis, former director of the Huot Regional Technical Education Center at Laconia High School, has served on the Authority for the past year, since his appointment to the unexpired portion of a retiring member. Before joining the Laconia School Distgrict in 1993 he developed vocational education programs for the departments of education and corrections in Vermont. A graduate of the University of Vermont, he has been a member of the boards of Lakes Region Public Access Television, Genesis Behavioral Health, and the WOW Trail as well as an incorporator of the Belknap Economic Development Council. He is also the founder and president of the Green Mountain Water Skiers and will now serve a full, 4-year term.

An owner and principal of the AutoServ Family of Dealerships, Gaudet has lived in the Lakes Region for the past 20 years, first in Gilford and now in Laconia.He is a graduate of Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida and holds an associates degree from Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Gaudet is a director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region and a sponsor of adult education program of the Easter Seals Society of New Hampshire. He fills the three years remaining on a 4-year term that originally went to Sean Fountain, who resigned.

Both men will hold seats dedicated to Laconia residents.

The Appointive Agency consists of the Gilford Board of Selectmen, Laconia City Council and Belknap County Commission. Twelve of the 13 members, including all the selectmen and councilors, voted on Monday night.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:01

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