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County investing in economic development work is a wise move

To The Daily Sun,

Thank you to the Belknap County Delegation for voting to restore funding for the Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) at their work session on the proposed county budget on February 16. We appreciate your diligence, thoughtfulness, and questions asked by the delegation members to better understand our programming and economic development goals for the county.

In recent years, Belknap EDC has focused its strategic efforts on four major goals:
1. Retain and attract young talent.
2. Support creative entrepreneurs.
3. Enhance workforce development programs.
4. Be a pro-active catalyst in property development to enhance economic opportunity in Belknap County.

Belknap EDC is proud to play a leadership role in collaborative efforts to strengthen connections between our students and local businesses, to create marketing campaigns and programs that show young people the benefits of living and working here, to support creative entrepreneurs as they build their businesses in the county, and to be a catalyst for redevelopment which is highlighted by our purchase of the Colonial Theatre block in Laconia.

Belknap EDC is one of 10 non-profit regional development corporations in the State of New Hampshire. Since our inception in 1992, Belknap EDC has leveraged more than $3 million in new capital in Belknap County in the form of federal grants and loans that comprise the seed capital for our revolving loan fund. With this capital we have worked with our local community banks to make loans to 80 Belknap County businesses, which has leveraged over $77 million in capital from other sources and created or retained more than 1,700 jobs. Recent highlights of our revolving loan programs include our collaboration with Hermit Woods Winery in Meredith, allowing them to purchase new equipment to expand their manufacturing capacity, partnering with G.C. Engineering in Laconia to help them expand into new space in Laconia and hire new employees, and providing gap financing to Emerson Aviation in Gilford to expand their business operations.

The Belknap County Delegation is making a wise investment for our 11 communities by restoring funding for Belknap EDC which supports our strategic goals and initiatives. We look forward to future collaboration and commitment to our shared

Randy Eifert
Belknap EDC Chairperson
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Belknap EDC

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Important issues for Sanbornton voters to settle on March 8 & 9

To The Daily Sun,

In December, we had our special Town Meeting and overwhelmingly voted for return of swap shop and metal pile access at our Sanbornton Transfer Station/Recycling Center. Some had an "intro to town government" and consequently questioned our selectmen and our town legal counsel.

Now, voting will happen on Tuesday, March 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Old Town Hall, with a race between incumbent Selectman Nickerson and challenger Olmstead. Other ballot questions are in play, too. Come to exercise your vote.

On Wednesday night, March 9, starting at 7 o'clock in our elementary school, but come earlier for a seat, will be Town Meeting.

Warrant Article 12 is about our metal pile. Submitted by petition, it promotes townspeople paying for metal from the metal pile. This changes what we voted at special Town Meeting. On this night budget items are accepted, or amended, or not accepted. Tax rate gets determined accordingly. The fire auxiliary sells sandwiches, beverages, snacks.

Our town's 2015 Annual Report is available in several places, including town offices. Pick one up and study it, to be informed before voting.

I am especially impressed with the pages showing Recreation Department activities, serving so many, especially but not restricted to families with children.

I've seen a newspaper article interviewing our Fire Chief, Paul Dexter, making the case for two full-time fire fighters who can also deliver emergency medical services. We've become a town with an aging population and increasingly a retirement population. Daytime calls increase with populations being at home rather than away at work. (Something) to think about: one full-timer (Chief Dexter) to get out on the road for a home-based emergency, or waiting for available but on-call crew — or having new, on-site firefighters/EMTs at the ready?

Lynn Rudmin Chong


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