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Ward Resigning as Corrections Chief, Moving to Florida


LACONIA — Belknap County Corrections Department Superintendent Dan Ward has submitted his resignation effective June 19.

''It's more of a retirement than a resignation,'' said Ward, who has held the position for five years and been in law enforcement and corrections for well over 20 years.

He says that his wife, Sheila, has accepted a vocational rehabilitation position with the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee, Fla., which is located in Florida's panhandle region.

''I'm going there to support Sheila,'' said Ward, whose son D.J., who is entering the ninth grade and is the youngest of his six children, who will also be making the move.

Ward said that he is proud of the work that he has done in Belknap County to refocus corrections on providing treatment for offenders which will help them re-enter the community once their jail terms are completed.

He said that one regret is that he will not be around to see the proposed community corrections facility that he has worked on for many years finally built but sees a growing support for the plan which will help it to be brought to fruition.

Ward said that he is looking ahead to the challenges which he will face in Florida and that one of the possibilities he is likely to explore would be teaching at the college level in the corrections and law enforcement field.

''I'm not retiring to play golf,'' said Ward.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:49

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Engineering firm buys Piscopo Block

LACONIA — A local civil engineering firm has purchased one of the city's largest downtown business blocks with plans to move its headquarters to the building.

GC Engineering of Belmont purchased the building at 633-637 Main St. — known as the Piscopo Block, according to a announcement released to the media yesterday by Bank of New Hampshire, which helped finance the transaction. The Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) was also involved in financing the purchase.

GC Engineering, established in 1978, is a civil engineering firm specializing in all aspects of flood plain management, flood zone determinations, flood insurance, and consulting for the National Flood Insurance program. GC Engineering, led by Mark and Chris Condodemetraky, plans to expand its operations in the building, including interior renovations and retrofitting space in the three-story building on the corner of Main and Canal streets for their new headquarters.

"While we came into this transaction well prepared, there were still a few small challenges during the purchase. We were very fortunate to have a team of local resources, like Christopher Walkley from Bank of New Hampshire and Ken Wilson at Belknap EDC, on board to offer support and guidance throughout the process," the Condodemetrakys said.

"It's been such a pleasure to work with Mark and Chris as they pursued the purchase of 633-637 Main Street," said Christopher Walkley, an assistant vice president and commercial banker for Bank of New Hampshire. "We wish them much success in this new venture."

Belknap EDC Executive Director, Justin Slattery, added, "We are very pleased and proud of the role that we played in assisting with the financing of the purchase of 633-637 Main St. The Condodemetrakys' future plans for the property are impressive and we look forward to their completed renovations."

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:44

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$700k in state funding for Sanbornton's 'Y' project at risk because of House budget

SANBORNTON — Selectmen received some bad news last week when they learned the N.H. House version of the proposed biennial budget for fiscal year 2016 and 2017 excludes the state aid Highway money that would be used to pay off the balance of the loan for the so-called "Y" project.

"That $700,000 would have paid it all off," said Selectmen Chair Dave Nickerson who said the town bonded just under $3 million to complete the road project that rebuilt of Hunkins Pond Road, Bay Road, Upper Bay Road and all of Steele Hill Road.

When Sanbornton began discussion the "Y" project — so called because of the "Y" the intersections make when looked at from above — it was around 2007 and none of the current selectmen were serving in office, although Nickerson was on the Budget Committee.

The selectmen at the time were the late Patsy Wells, Guy Giunta, and Andrew Livernois. Bruce Kneuer was the town administrator.

The town applied for program that provided a 1/3 – 2/3 split with the town paying for 1/3 and the state agreeing to pay the 2/3 balance if the town accepted the road as a town road and agreed to maintain it.

In 2011, according to documents made available from the town, the Department of Transportation agreed to reimburse Sanbornton $1,939,934 over three years beginning in fiscal year 2014.

Town Administrator Bob Veloski said the town received $504,000 in fiscal year 2014 and $710,000 in fiscal year 2015. He was expecting an additional $700,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.

Nickerson said he had heard that Sanbornton is not the only community affected by the cuts to the state aid road program but his primary concern is how it will affect the town's budget.

Veloski said the balance of the payments are $117,266 annually plus interest meaning it could cost the town $143,000 for five to six years to pay back the money.

The House budget is only one version of the biannual state budget. The Senate will develop its own budget that may or may not include the state aid road program. Public hearings for the Senate version concluded yesterday.

After the Senate passes a budget, a Committee of Conference will be formed with members from both the House and the Senate. This is the budget that will go to Gov. Maggie Hassan for either a signature or a veto.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 02:02

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Hosmer bill to require full mimum wage for workers with disabilities passes

CONCORD — Legislation outlawing the practice of paying employees with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, sponsored by New Hampshire State Senator Andrew Hosmer, a Laconia Democrat, is on it way to the desk of Governor Maggie Hassan , where she will sign it into law on Thursday at 3 p.m.

Senate Bill 47 carried the Senate by a unanimous vote of 24 to 0 and the House of Representatives by a voice vote while its mirror image, House Bill 411, was also endorsed by both houses without opposition.The House bill was tabled by the Senate.

"Disabled workers deserve the same dignity, fairness and employment opportunities as everyone else," Hosmer said in a prepared statement. "I am proud that all Senators voted in support of that belief." He noted that although the Senate Republicans stymied an effort to increase the minimum wage for all workers,he was pleased they with the Democrats "in standing up for wage equality."

Current law entitles employers to apply to the Department of labor "to establish a practical experience/training program at a sub-minimum wage rate or no wage rate for individuals with disabilities."

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 01:45

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