LACONIA — Planning Board Chairman Warren Hutchins says that Laconia has much to be proud of when it comes to positive growth in the city in recent years.
''There's more development in the city of Laconia than in the rest of the Lakes Region combined,'' Hutchins, who also chairs the board of directors off the Lakes Region Planning Commission, told his fellow board members Tuesday night.
Hutchins said that the amount of development taking place is ''truly amazing'' and seems to get lost as the news media focuses on drug problems and crime.
''We need to communicate the positive things which are going on in terms of the development and the improvements to the city's infrastructure,'' said Hutchins.
He cited numerous examples from all parts of the city in his presentation, saying that he developments ranged from those being undertaken by large corporations to individuals and included both commercial and residential elements.
He praised his fellow board members for their hard work, noting that very few applications have been denied in recent years and that there is a willingness to work with developers to get projects moving.
Hutchins said that the projects include:
— The Lilac Valley residential development off from Rte. 107 — which will see 55 units of affordable housing constructed.
— Two 45-unit apartment buildings which are being constructed off from Mile Hill Road, one of which will provide off-campus housing for students from Lakes Region Community College.
— The groundbreaking for a $3.3 million automotive program at LRCC, as well as the recent completion of an advanced manufacturing and health care program building at the college.
— A project on Beacon Street West by Chinburg Builders which will see 40 new apartments being made available.
— The Main Street Bridge project, the city Riverwalk and the WOW trail.
— The Laconia Area Land Trust's 35 apartment Riveredge project in downtown Lacuna.
— LRGHealthcare's recent addition and its proposed expansion of the emergency room and imaging department.
— The Huot Center addition at Laconia High School along with the new football stadium and playing field.
— The Holy Grail Irish pub which is rapidly nearing completion in downtown Laconia and the Congregational Church project next door.
— The Linny Lane project which has added 20 homes in Lakeport and the Nature's View project near Paugus Bay which will add 50 homes.
— The addition and renovations at Fratello's restaurant in Lakeport.
— The Laconia Fire Station addition on North Main Street.
— Titeleflex Aerospace building a 48,000-square-foot addition in the O'Shea Industrial Park.
— A new Taco Bell restaurant building replacing the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Union Avenue.
— Watermark Construction moving into its new building on Paugus Bay and the Paugus Bay Marina now occupying an adjacent building as a showroom.
— The Christmas Island condominium project, which is adding 18 units.
— The completion of the Weirs Community Park.
— A Scenic Road residential project which has seen 19 townhouses units built at the Weirs.
Hutchins said that the state is repaving roads which are the gateway to the city, including Rte. 106, the Meredith Center Road, Rte. 3 at the Weirs and Rte. 11-B to Gilford.
He also said that the city Planning Department has received three grants, including $750,000 from the Department of Transportation for sidewalk improvements, $75,000 for repair to the storm water management system at the Weirs and $15,000 from the Department of Environmental Services for a Black Brook study.
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