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Belmont bandstand restored to original colors

BELMONT — The historic bandstand in the village center has been painted rust and moss green, which are the original colors of the 1908 structure that is more than half-way restored.

Heritage Commission Chair Wallace Rhodes said an historic paint analyst examined the bandstand using camera technology as well as scrapings and borings so the town could recreate the original colors.

The bandstand was built in 1908 during the later part of the Victorian architectural era, said Rhodes. He said bright colors were one of the periods characteristics.

While he doesn't know when, he said the bandstand was likely painted white as part of the Colonial Revival period that came shortly after and in which many buildings were painted white.

"I don't think there's anyone alive that remembers it when it wasn't white," Rhodes said, noting the Colonial Revival period caught on sooner in the cities than in the country — as Belmont was in the early and mid 1900s.

He said the last few steps are re-shingling it with cedar shingles that will turn gray over time. He said the original bandstand had a diamond pattern in the shingles that was more than likely the same rust color as the rest of the bandstand.

Rhodes said the restoration project also includes replacing the ball that was on the top of the roof until about 20-years ago when it blew off in a storm.

The restoration of the bandstand is partially funded by taxpayers and partially funded by a LCHIP grant. Rhodes expects it to be completed by the end of September.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 01:01

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Newfound High track dedicated to retiring coach

By Thomas P. Caldwell

BRISTOL — Generations of students, as well as past and present colleagues, converged on the track at Newfound Regional High School on June 21 to honor retiring coach Earl Mills. The event marked the official dedication of the track as "Mills Oval" with participants doing fun walks and competitive races — many of them former record-holders from Newfound who had not run the track since their high school days.
Mills came to Newfound in 1970 and, on Nov. 17, 2013, he was inducted into the NHIAA Hall of Fame in honor of his long career as a cross-country and girls' track coach. The Newfound Area School Board approved the naming of the high school track the Mills Oval at its meeting on April 14.
Acting as his own master of ceremonies during the morning events, Mills handed out green ribbons to everyone present, declaring "Millsey's Retirement — 1970-2014". He then announced the series of races and fun runs for those who wanted to experience the track.
Between the races and the official ceremonies, when colleagues honored him for his long period of service and dedication, there was a barbecue and pot-luck luncheon, with a large, commemorative cake.
Although he officially has retired, Mills will return to Newfound for Senior Projects.
Mills and his wife, Nancy — also a long-time Newfound teacher — reside in Alexandria.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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City Council approves measure to re-structure Downtown TIF Advisory Board

LACONIA — Following a public hearing last night the City Council unanimously approved a proposal to restructure the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Advisory Board.
Established in 2009 when the downtown TIF district was formed, the board advises the council about how to invest the funds accruing to the TIF fund. Originally it consisted of five members, appointed by the council for unspecified terms, the majority of whom must be owners or occupants of property within the TIF district.
Currently two members of the board are city officials, Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Dunleavy and City Planner Shanna Saunders.
The change will make those holding those positions ex-officio, non-voting members of the board, and provides that all five board members must either own property, reside within or own, manage or represent a business in the district. Moreover, at least three members, a majority of the board, must be residents of the city.
The change also provides for an expiration date of those serving on the board and provides that the five members serve staggered terms of three years apiece. Initially two members will be appointed to three-year terms and two members to two-year terms with the fifth member serving a one-year term.
John Moriarty of the Laconia Main Street Initiative said that the downtown stakeholders support the change and singled out Dunleavy for having done ''an outstanding job.''
''This will allow two additional citizens the opportunity to serve on the board,'' said Moriarty.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 01:15

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Council approves funds for business park recreational trail design

LACONIA — The City Council last night approved by a 5-1 vote a contract with Fluet Engineering Associates of Laconia to further the design of a recreational trail system within the Lakes Business Park, which is a joint venture undertaken by the city of Laconia and Town of Gilford.

The $11,710 to fund the work will be drawn from the Lakes Business Park Phase II Capital Replacement Trust Fund, which has an estimated balance of nearly $327,000. Fluet Engineering will prepare plans of the existing trail network, two stream crossings, including a pedestrian bridge over Jewett Brook and a parking lot near the entrance to the park on Gilford Avenue. The Lakes Business Park Board of Directors has indicated that its intent is to take "a minimalist approach" to construction, which will not include pavement.

When the business park was originally established it was anticipated that bicycle and pedestrian paths would be built in the common areas for "the use and enjoyment of the general public." In 2005, when the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services granted the permit for the roadway entering the park across Jewett Brook, a conservation easement of 44 acres was created and stream crossings for a pedestrian path were permitted. The easement recognized the right of the Lakes Business Park Board of Directors "to construct, maintain, repair and reconstruct recreational trails within the easement area for walking and hiking by the public."

Originally a budget of $151,000 was designated for construction of the trails. However, in a memorandum to the Gilford Board of Selectmen and Laconia City Council Scott Dunn, the Gilford Town Administrator, said that for reasons unknown the funds are no longer available. Dunn went on to note that recently the Gilford Conservation Commission has urged him to pursue construction of the trail system. He said that he was was seeking funding from the New Hampshire Recreational Trail Program and explained that an engineered design and cost estimate would strengthen applications for funding.
Mayor Ed Engler said that Fluet had produced the original design plan for the trail system 10 years ago and was chosen for re design because he still had the original trail system designs.
Ward 5 Councilor Bob Hamel, who ended up casting the only vote against the proposal, said that he was concerned over the $151,000 price tag and questioned who would take care of the trail system if it were built.
Ward 4 Councilor Brenda Baer said that the idea that the trail system was going to be paved had been dropped and pointed out that the funds which would pay for the engineering work ''is not city money, not taxpayer money'' and comes from a maintenance fund for the park.
Engler said that all of the property on which the trail system wold be built is located in Gilford and it would be the responsibility of the Gilford Parks and Recreation Department to manage and maintain the trails.
Ward 1 Councilor Henry Lipman said that while the business park had not developed as quickly as had been hoped and he would be reluctant if it were being built today to support a trail system he felt that the city should live up to the intent of the original agreement and support development of the trail system.
''If we were starting from scratch, I wouldn't do this. We should do the right thing and and do what we said we would do. It's a matter of integrity,'' said Lipman.
Ward 2 Councilor David Bownes wondered if the design which Fluet produces would be implemented and Engler said that it was his understanding that further development would be contingent on Gilford applying for and receiving grants.
Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn, in a letter to the city council outlining the project, wrote that he was hopeful that the town would obtain grant funding from the NH Recreational Trail Program in 2015 for the project.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 01:32

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