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Laconia schools giving up on growing grass from seed on Bobotas Field

LACONIA — After evaluating the quality of the seeded grass on Bobotas Field at the High School, Business Administrator Ed Emond told the School Board last night the district decided to sod it — splitting the cost with the subcontractor.

Emond said the total cost of the sod was $30,000, with $15,000 coming from the school budget in last fiscal year.

As part of the Huot Regional Technical Education School renovation project of 2013, Bobotas Field, where athletic teams practice and physical education classes are held, was redone.

Within days of the first grass seeding, the entire field washed out in a torrential rain that soaked the area over the July 4th holiday weekend. All of the base washed away forcing the district and the subcontractor to repair the base and reseed the field.

"The seeded grass just didn't take," said Emond.

He said that the decision to sod the upper field this year means that the football teams can practice there this fall. Had the district tried to seed the field a third time, it would not have been ready and there was still no promise that the seed would take.

Emond said the district also identified some areas around the new Jim Fitzgerald Field at Bank of N.H. Stadium that needed some matting to stop runoff. He said one small high-traffic area near the bleachers was sodded because the seed wasn't working well.

Board Chair Chris Guilmet said he thought the front lawn of the high school looked sad and wanted to know why the previously lush grass had been overwhelmed by clover.

Emond said much of the problem is a lack of irrigation and noted a complete overhaul of the front lawn would cost as much as $20,000 that isn't available in this year's budget.

He also said the $1.8 million high school sprinkler, ventilation, and classroom renovation, or Q-ZAB, project is progressing apace.

Emond noted there was some problems with some of the oldest classroom ceilings that were unanticipated because the ceiling were so high. In order to be sprinkled, the contractor had to install drywall before installing the sprinklers and the drop ceilings.

The Joint Build Committee for the high school improvements is meeting Friday at 4 p.m. at the SAU offices.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 12:52

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Negotiations involving Laconia police union still ongoing

LACONIA — The Police Commissioners will not be presented with a new patrolman's union contract in time for their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday afternoon.

According to Capt. Bill Clary, a member of the management negotiating team, the two sides are still talking and have scheduled a negotiation meeting for some time next week.

As of July 1, the members of the Laconia Police Officers' Association are working without benefit of a collective bargaining agreement.

The negotiating teams that consists of union leaders and police management agreed on a tentative contract earlier in the summer. The commissioners then unanimously accepted it, but the rank and file union membership rejected it.

Practically, this means that the membership is forgoing the 2 percent raise that was included in the tentative agreement but still has access to a comprehensive health insurance plan that was eliminated.

Should the negotiating team agree on new terms and the commissioners vote to accept it, the cost provisions would have to be approved by the City Council.

On June 12, the City Council rejected a three-year contract submitted to them by the city manager, in conjunction with the Laconia firefighters union. At the present time, the city has no contract with any of the four unions that represent its employees.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 12:44

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City's Motorcycle Week revenue was off 14%

LACONIA — Despite the fine weather during Motorcycle Week, city revenues from fees from vendor licenses and site plans shrank 14 percent, from $164,007 in 2013 to $140,935 this year.

City Manager Scott Myers told the City Council this week that some vendors may have been confused because this year the rally began rather than ended on Father's Day. He estimated that approximately 40 fewer licenses were issued this year than last and said that the Weirs Beach Drive-In, the Heat (restaurant) and Funspot, as well as the site of the former water slide, all appeared to have less vendors than in the past.

Since 2007, Motorcycle Weeks has operated as a city enterprise fund by setting the revenues against the expenses and applying the net income to purchases of equipment for the police, fire and public works departments that service the event. Over those years, revenues have totaled $1,338,453, expenses $1,108,492 and net income $279,961, of which $148,911 has been spent to leave a blance of $131,050.

Revenues reached $226,615 in 2007 and $185,399 in 2008. then averaged $167,100 between 2009 and 2013. Meanwhile, expenses, after topping $172,000 in 2008, have averaged $127,350 since.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 12:41

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Correction: Joshua Fox never lived at 918 North Main Street

Based on police and court records, The Daily Sun on Friday, July 11 reported that accused purse snatcher Joshua Fox is a resident of 918 North Main Street in Laconia. The person who does live at that address has informed the newspaper that Mr. Fox does not live at the location and never has.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 12:36

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