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Gilford tax rate set - Stays almost even at $17.95 per $1,000

GILFORD — The New Hampshire Department of Revenue has set the tax rate for 2016 at $17.95 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is down 20 cents or less than 1 percent from last year. For someone with a home valued at $300,000, that translates to a bill of $5,385.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said Monday that tax bills should have been mailed to residents  and are due around Dec. 8.

The local tax rate is composed of two separate factors over which the voters have control and include the town rate, which is $5.34 per $1,000 in assessed value and is up 20 cents or 3.7 percent from 2015, and the local school rate, which is $8.98 and down 2 cents, or less than 1 percent, from 2015.

One other components of the tax rate are the statewide property tax that is set by the state and collects money that is redistributed to local school districts. This year's rate is $2.30 per $1,000 in assessed value, which represents a decrease of 15 cents or a 6.1 percent decrease from last year.

The final component is the county tax that is driven by the budget passed by the 18 members of the Belknap County Delegation, who are also the people elected to represent various Belknap County communities in the N.H. State House. This rate is $1.33 per $1,000 in assessed value and is down five cents or 3.6 percent from last year.

Dunn said the 2016 town operating budget was $8,858,929 in money raised through local taxes.

Selectmen approved a budget last Wednesday that included a total of $8,991,821 in money to be raised by local taxes, which is up by 1.5 percent. The Budget Committee is reviewing the proposed budget and meets weekly on Thursday nights.

Genesis Behavioral Health honors Kristen Welch and Jacqui Abikoff

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Genesis Behavioral Health celebrated its half-century as the community mental health center for Belknap and southern Grafton counties and honored two individuals for their outstanding service to the community at its annual meeting last week.

Kristen Welch, the former director of development and communications at Genesis Behavioral Health, received the Dr. Pete Harris Community Service Award, named for the founder of the agency and awarded to someone whose actions speak louder than words to promote respect and care for those in need.

"Her efforts have helped improve community regard and township support for the necessity of timely access to emergency clinical and medical service supports that are often unfunded in service contracts," said Marshall Hatch, who nominated Welch. "She has conducted herself tirelessly, with brightness, humor and hopefulness, for the improvement of services and and respectful regard within the communities of New Hampshire for all those living with mental illness and emotional distress."

Welch left the agency to become director of advancement at Community Action Partnership of Strafford County.

The Helen Holbrook Leadership and Service Award, named for the first staff member of Genesis Behavioral Health who remained active until her death in September 2015, was awarded to Jacqui Abikoff, executive director of Horizons Counseling Center.

"Abikoff," said Maggie Pritchard, executive director of Genesis Behavioral Health, "has created and expanded services for those with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring disorders."

Describing Abikoff as "part of the landscape of the Lakes Region," Pritchard said that she has been essential to the success of Belknap CountyRecovery Court as well as contributed to efforts to address domestic and sexual violence and prevent suicide.

"It is very special that on our 50th anniversary we honor former employees of Genesis Behavioral Health who have contributed to and continue to champion the success behavioral health services," Pritchard said.

11-01 Kristen Welch Recipient of Dr Harris Award

Dr. Kelley White (second from right) presents the Dr. Pete Harris Community Service Award to Kristen Welch (second from left), former director of development and communications at Genesis Behavioral Health at the agency's annual meeting together with Dr. Harris's daughters, Martha Dolben, left, and Anne Onion, right. (Courtesy photo)

11-01 Jacqui Abikoff Holbrook Award

Elaine Morrison, left, the daughter of Helen Holbrook, presents the Leadership and Service Award named for her mother to Jacqui Abikoff, executive director of Horizons Counseling Center, at the annual meeting of Genesis Behavioral Health. (Courtesy photo)

photo credits Ian Raymond.

T-Rocks

10-31 T-Rocks

Richard Ostromecki of Coquina Lane at Paugus Woods Villa off from White Oaks Road in Laconia stands next to a rock he and his wife, Denise Barry, discovered while doing some landscaping work at their home. Ostromecki used his artistic skills from a career of custom work on motorcycles to paint an eye on the head portion of the rock to highlight the unique formation and added several rocks behind it on the ground to make it appear as though the the dinosaur-like creature has a  segmented tail. (Roger Amsden/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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