City Council OKs $67.5M budget; police contract still to be settled

Ambulance contract also not set; spending on parks is increased


LACONIA — A blueprint for expenditures in the new fiscal year has won City Council approval, but a few funding questions remain, including the ultimate cost of a new contract for police officers and potential unanticipated expenses involving the Colonial Theatre refurbishment.

The City Council on Monday night passed a $67.5 million appropriation for the city, the county and the school district for the fiscal year that began July 1. The municipal portion of that is about $25 million.

Property taxes will go up 1.3 percent, or a $56 yearly hike for a $200,000 home.

One bit of spending still to be finalized is the cost of a new union contract for police officers. Council members rejected an initial proposed contract and negotiations are continuing on a new pact. The reason for the rejection was not clear as bargaining requirements preclude council members from talking publicly about labor contracts before they are approved.

City Manager Scott Myers said there will be adequate money in the new budget to cover police costs.

“We've got a bucket of money toward collective bargaining,” Myers said. “What we try to do for personnel costs, wages and benefits is to have an appropriate amount of money there to cover us if there is a contract or if there is not a contract.”

Another financial question involves the Colonial Theatre refurbishment. There is a chance the city could be asked to take a greater role in funding that project.

The City Council is to take up that subject next month.

“We're targeting the first meeting in August for that so stay tuned,” Myers said.

Also still to be finalized is a new ambulance service contract with LRGHealthcare. Myers has said he is confident the new contract can be handled within the Fire Department's new budget.

The overall budget approved by the City Council on Monday was very similar to one Myers proposed in April.

A few changes came in the form of spending on parks. This new spending included $40,000 to study erosion at city beaches, $35,000 for a new fence at Opechee Park, $25,000 for park basketball court improvements and $20,000 for a paved pathways through Opechee Park, connecting the Middle School campus with North Main Street.

Community comes together to assist Swain Farm patriarch


SANBORNTON — Food, fun, and fabulous auction items will be offered Saturday as the community gathers for a major fundraiser to assist for the head of the Swain Farm, who has suffered a stroke.

David Swain and his family have been active members of the Sanbornton community, and the outpouring of support has taken the form of a traditional Texas barbecue, live and silent auction, and other activities which will take place at the Old Town Hall Square at 19 Meetinghouse Hill Road from 2 to 6 p.m. on July 15.

Rock House BBQ is catering the event, which will feature brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, pinto beans, and coleslaw. There also is a vegetarian option of black beans, rice, and vegetable.

Items that have been donated for the auction include tree work, home heating fuel, and septic pumping, as well as a candy basket, pies and cakes, and vacations.

Other activities include children’s games, cow patty bingo, tractor hayrides, live music, and a giant Jenga puzzle.

While tickets will be available on Saturday, organizers are asking for advance purchases to give Rock House BBQ an idea of how much food to prepare. The caterer is donating the food for the event.

Tickets and information are available from Melanie Van Tassel at 603-387-2931 and Justin Barriault at 581-9085.

 07 10 David Swain

Sanbornton residents will hold a fundraiser for David Swain on Saturday, July 15. (Courtesy Photo)


After gun fired on Gilford Ave., city man is arrested

LACONIA — Police arrested a 36-year-old city man on felony charges in a case involving a person who was threatened with a gun.
Gregory Marcoot was released on $1,500 cash bail Monday, one day after he was taken into custody on charges of criminal threatening and reckless conduct.
All charges are Class B felonies.
At 10:59 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a report of a person who had been threatened with a gun in the area of 55 Gilford Ave. While they were responding, a report came in of a single gunshot in the area.
Gilford Avenue was closed to traffic and witnesses were interviewed. An officer phoned Marcoot, who lives at 53 Gilford Ave. He came out of his house and was taken into custody.
A rifle and several other firearms and ammunition were found at his residence.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Lacona Police at 524-5252.

07 11 Gregory Marcoot

Gregory Marcoot