LACONIA — The Lakeshore Redevelopment Planning Commission will receive $700,000 over two years from the state budget to continue its efforts to create economic development opportunities on 200 acres of state-owned land that was formerly home to the Laconia State School.

Development anticipated for the site include a sports complex, homes, a hotel, a health and wellness center and agricultural uses. 

In a meeting Friday, commission members approved initial plans to use some of the money for site surveys, an Ahern State Park study, hazardous materials assessments, environmental assessments, sampling and remediation and historical resource surveys. 

Also, $100,000 will be set aside to be matched with grant money. 

Expected legislation will seek funding for the authority that will be the successor to the commission. A bill to be sponsored by Rep. Peter Spanos will seek $1 million for the organization per year for six years. 

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“The city should buy the property and make a park out of it... preserve the land before it’s all gone.... should do the same with the drive in.” — Jerry Basnar, on the Planning Board’s approval of a conceptual plan for demolishing Barton’s Motel and building 32 condominiums in four, four-story buildings.

“I hate seeing a longtime iconic place for regular people to come, rent and enjoy the lake disappear. Fewer and fewer places for the NOT rich to take their families to the lakes region. Shame on the ‘Board.’” — Frank Donlan.

They said it

“You’ve already explained the economics of this. I know there isn’t much you can do. But it’s the only thing about this that troubles me is how it looks from the lake. People come up here to enjoy the lakes and poor people come up here to enjoy the lakes. And certainly this won’t enhance their enjoyment. That’s all.” — Peter Brunette, chairman of the Planning Board. 

“I move that we give approval to this concept. It’s a good idea. It’s good for the city. It’s good for everybody. Let’s rock and roll.” — Planning Board member and City Councilor David Bownes.

“Looks like a great project.” — Planning Board member Edwin Bones.


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