Don't worry, no change planned in city road services through winter

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Snow plowing and trash pickup will continue through the winter on all roads in the city where these services are now offered, Public Works Director Wes Anderson said Thursday.

He said a number of citizens have expressed concern about the issue because the city has been considering changing the designation of some streets.

There are more than 200 roads in Laconia that are private and privately maintained. For another 47 roads, the city has been providing maintenance but it's not clear why it is doing so as no evidence has been found showing they were ever authorized or accepted as city streets.

State law states that public funds can't be spent on private roads, and it is a long process to convert a private road to a public road. However, the law does allow the city to continue basic maintenance on “emergency lanes,” including snow plowing, for purposes of ensuring access by firefighters, police and paramedics.

On Monday, the City Council delayed action on designating seven of those 47 roads as emergency lanes so that city staff members could further investigate the issue.

Those seven roads are Cotton Hill Road, Dell Avenue, Eastman Shore Road North, Lucerne Avenue, McKinley Road, Regis Road and Wentworth Avenue.

The council also must decide what to do with the other 40 roads in question. It could declare some or all of these emergency lanes. If it decided not to provide this designation for some of these roads, it would be up to local residents to decide how they would plow or maintain the road.

But the underlying message Anderson wants to impart to the public is that, through the winter, at least, there will be no change in plowing, garbage pickup or maintenance on roads in Laconia.

  • Written by Rick Green
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Historic New Hampton Grange Hall turned into pile of scrap wood

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

NEW HAMPTON — The 191-year-old Grange Hall has been reduced to a big pile of scrap wood.

Town officials said workers knocked down the building without incident on Wednesday and Thursday, a week after the Board of Selectmen approved a demolition permit.

The New Hampton Community Church, which owned the building, plans to replace it with a parking lot.

On July 25, voters rejected a proposal to acquire the unused building and move it two miles to a position alongside the 228-year-old New Hampton Town House.

Pastor Scott Mitchell said the high cost of rehabilitating the building convinced the church, which acquired the Grange Hall in 1995, that it would be best to demolish it. He said the church “desperately needs parking.”

The church also owns the 217-year-old Dana Meeting House, where services are held once a year in conjunction with Old Home Days.

The Grange Hall comprised 3,600 square feet in two-and-a-half stories.

A town proposal to save the building was backed by people who saw it as an important part of New Hampton's history and that it could have a new life as a community multi-purpose building.

Opponents said it was unlikely the building would get much use after the move, and they objected to initial and ongoing costs.

The Grange Hall had stood in three different locations. It was first built and used as a chapel next to the Town House, then was used for classrooms for the Institute in the Village and then it was brought to its last location on Main Street, where it was used for about 85 years as a Grange Hall.

New Hampton Grange just before destruction 2017

The New Hampton Grange Hall before it was torn down this week. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)

09 01 New Hampton Grange razed

The historic New Hampton Grange Hall was demolished on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 30-31. Town residents did not support an effort to save the unused building. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Special vote Tuesday in Grafton County

Three candidates vie for state representative post

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BRISTOL — Republican Vincent Paul Migliore, Democrat Joshua Adjutant and Libertarian John J. Babiarz are on the ballot Tuesday in a special election for state representative in Grafton County District 9.

The seat was vacated by Rep. Jeffrey Shackett, R-Bridgewater. Thirty days after he was sworn in for a new term, Shackett said he had to step down because of work commitments.

The district takes in Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol and Grafton.

Migliore serves on the Newfound Area School Board and the Bristol Economic Development Committee. He has expressed opposition to the Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project and has called for lowering state taxes as a way to foster growth that he says would lower property taxes.

Adjutant also opposes the Northern Pass. Adjutant, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, advocates an increase in the minimum wage, more money for after-school programs and supports solar energy. He also supports New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program.

Babiarz, chief of the Grafton volunteer fire department, is a former Libertarian candidate for governor. He said he favors small government, less taxation, less regulation, school choice and judicial reform.

  • Written by Rick Green
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