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Pace of Construction Quickens

LACONIA — During the first nine months of 2014 — from April 1 to Dec. 31 — the city issued building permits worth $24.5 million in construction value compared to $13.3 million in 2013 and $10.6 million in 2012.

The value of new construction added during the tax year, which runs from April 1 to the following March 31, is one of two factors applied to calculate the increase in the amount to be raised by property taxes according to the tax cap. The cap limits the annual increase in amount raised by property taxes to the rate of inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index — Urban (CPIU), for the prior calendar year, plus an additional amount tied to the value of new construction, which is calculated by multiplying the value of building permits less the value of demolition permits issued between April 1 and March 31 by the prior year's property tax rate. Through November 2014 the annualized CPI was 1.7 percent.

Residential construction accounted for $20.4 million of the new value in 2014. Two projects represents more than half the total. The 24 condominium units at the North Lodge on Scenic Road, built by Southworth Development LLC accounted for $6.6 million and Rivers Edge, the apartment building on Union Avenue, built by the Laconia Area Community L:and Trust. accounted for another $5.2 million. The single largest commercial project was the conversion of the Evangelical Baptist Church to the Holy Grail restaurant at $1 million.


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 02:02

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4 near-fatal overdoses in city over the weekend

LACONIA – There have been four non-fatal overdoses of opiates in the city since last Friday, Police Chief Chris Adams confirmed yesterday.

The Laconia Fire Department successfully used NARCAN – an inhalation-delivered version of Naloxone which almost immediately reverses the effects of opiates.

Laconia has seen an alarming number of opiate overdoses – both fatal and non-fatal, and has taken extraordinary steps to combat the problem.

In the 2014-2015 city budget, the City Council appropriated an additional $50,000 to the Police Department which appointed a drug czar whose sole job is to coordinate educational and enforcement programs with other communities, the courts, the schools, and the various agencies who are addressing drug problems.

Adams said the City Council will be evaluating the program for renewal as part of the 2015-16 budget and he said he will be asking for a full-time position for the drug coordinating officer.

One of the agencies addressing the problem head-on is StandUp Laconia – a not-for-profit program begun by some private citizens who want to help with the city's drug abuse problem. The group is meeting tonight from 5 until 6:30 p.m. at the Laconia Middle School. The meeting is open to anyone who is interested in taking a stand against alcohol and drug abuse.

In addition, there is an intensive recovery program created last year by 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Judge Jim Carroll for admitted addicts who want to get and stay drug-free. Recovery Court in Belknap County is an all-volunteer effort by local mental health and counseling agencies, the court, the Public Defenders Office, the Laconia City Prosecutor, the Belknap County Department of Restorative Justice, the Department of Corrections and the Belknap County arm of the N.H. Division of Probation and Parole.

Last month, two people made it through the program and graduated. Both have agreed to stay with the program as mentors.


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:59

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Correction: Bicycle Exchange formed in 2014, has given out 101 bikes

LACONIA — An article about the Laconia Bicycle Exchange that appeared in yesterday's edition mis-stated a couple of details about the program. The program was founded in April 2014 and has since given out more than 100 bicycles to persons in need.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:54

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Alleged Barnstead child rapist to serve at least 20 years

LACONIA — A Barnstead man who has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of his step niece and nephew over a 7-year period 20 years ago told Judge O'Neill of the Belknap County Superior Court yesterday he would accept a negotiated plea deal of two consecutive 10 to 20 years sentences.

On January 2, Kenneth Day, 67, a Barnstead native, agreed to serve the sentences but wanted to be able to apply for parole after serving 16-years of the stand-committed time.

Although his defense team and Belknap County Deputy Prosecutor Carley Ahern had agreed on Day's being able to apply for parole after 16 years, after hearing statements from the victims who don't want him to be able to be paroled after 16 years, Judge James O'Neill wouldn't accept the sentence. In an unusual statement from O'Neill, he said at the time that he would accept the sentence but only if Day agreed to serve the entire 20 years before he could be released. Day will be 87 years-old when he is released.

In what was slated to be a pre-trial conference yesterday, O'Neill said he would accept Day's plea but only after all of the victims were given the opportunity to be in court. Yesterday, five people came to the hearing but at least one of his victims was unable to be there.

Day is charged with luring the two children who were 6-years-old at the time into a bus he lived in on the children's parent's property in Barnstead with soda and cookies – two things the children weren't allowed to eat.

He began sexually assaulting them and the assaults continued until they were 13 years-old.

The two walked into the Barnstead Police station last year and told their stories to police, triggering an investigation that revealed there was at least one additional female victim. The assaults on the two children who went to police occurred almost 20 years ago but were brought within the statute of limitations for adults reporting sexual assaults that happened to them as children.

Through his attorney, Day said yesterday that he would accept the 20 years right away but wanted to delay sentencing until February 2 so he could mentally prepare for state prison. Day is currently being held on $150,000 cash only bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Day also faces similar charges in Merrimack County and could face additional jail time.

O'Neill set next Monday at 9 a.m. as the time he would accept Day's plea so the state would have enough time to contact all of the victims to see if they wanted to be present.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:51

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