By Michael Kitch
THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — An amendment to a House bill allowing the former Laconia State School property to be leased for a substance abuse and recovery center has been withdrawn by state Sen. Jeanie Forrester (R- Meredith).
At last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Ed Engler said the issue was no longer on the agenda, and that after a couple of conversations with the senator, she is “withdrawing her sponsorship of the amendment. As of now, this is a moot subject.”
The proposal came to light last week when Forrester added the amendment to House Bill 1695. The Senate Finance Committee voted five to one to support the proposal. In the meantime, the proposal was met with puzzlement by Engler, who said he thought nothing was happening with the property.
Alex Ray, owner and founder of The Common Man family of restaurants, supported the proposal due to his commitment to addressing this issue of substance abuse.
Forrested insisted last week that “My intent is not to hurt Laconia.”
The state has been trying to sell the 200-acre property, and offered it to the city of Laconia for $10 million in 2011. In 2012, the city offered $2.16 million for that property, the Robbie Mills Sports Complex and another 10.2-acre property, but the state never responded to the offer, which was withdrawn once an environmental assessment was done. About 75 acres had been found to be contaminated.
Pat Wood, speaking to the City Council last night, suggested the city form a committee to address the future of the state school property, perhaps exploring joint ventures with the state and private parties.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 264