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Contaminated recycling a growing problem at city’s collection sites

LACONIA — Contamination of recycling containers is becoming a growing problem, especially at four remote sites — the Memorial Park clubhouse, Lakeport Fire Stattion, Weirs Community Center, and the Messer Street garage, according to Ann Saltmarsh, who oversees the recycling program at the Department of Public Works.

Saltmarsh said yesterday that the amount of trash and garbage found in the containers is increasing and, in particular, stressed that plastic bags of any kind should not be mingled with recyclable materials. She explained that with single-stream recycling all recyclable materials are sorted by sensitive machinery, which easily becomes fouled by plastic bags. Most grocery stores collect plastic bags near their entranceways, she said, urging residents to use those receptacles rather than contaminate the recycling containers.

Saltmarsh said that recently two of the large recycling containers — each with a capacity of 30-cubic yards — were so contaminated with trash, garbage, leaves, limbs and plastic bags that they had to be emptied at the Transfer Station at a cost of $200 apiece. Recycling, she noted, is intended to save money, but costs money money when contaminated loads have to be hauled to a disposal site.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 01:42

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NARCAN saves man’s life on Hill Street

LACONIA — Police said yesterday a 39-year-old man came close to dying of an apparent opiate overdose while lying in the snow on Hill Street.

Capt. Matt Canfield said the victim was in a car with three others when he began having difficulties and stopped breathing.

Canfield said the man's friends had removed him from the car and were administering CPR when police and fire rescue arrived.

He said the man was treated with NARCAN - an opioid antidote - and transported the Lakes Region General Hospital.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 01:40

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Storms stress city’s winter maintenance budget

LACONIA — With major storms on the first two weekends of February, City Manager Scott Myers said yesterday that "we're close, if not on the edge, of what we've allocated for winter maintenance."

By the end of January, the Department of Public Works (DPW) had spent $343,930, or 85 percent, of the $406,000 appropriated for winter maintenance, leaving a balance of $62,069. So far this winter DPW has spent $43,440 in November, $170,066 in December and $130,424 in January.

Myers said that the cost of the two storms in February have yet to be tallied, but anticipated that because the first extended into the weekend and the second occurred on a weekend, both would be costly.

For the moment, the city is short on salt as well as money, Myers said. He explained there is plenty of road salt at the Granite State Mineral depot at Portsmouth Harbor, but the frequency of heavy snowfall has led to a shortage of trucks to deliver it. He said that many of the trucks that would be delivering salt are busy hauling snow.

Myers assured residents that the DPW will continue to plow and treat the city streets through the winter and said there would be sufficient funds in the budget to address any overage in winter maintenance expenses.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 01:37

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Restorative Justice Program to Relocate to County Complex (493)

LACONIA — Belknap County's Restorative Justice Program will move from the Belknap County Courthouse to the administrative wing of the Belknap County complex in the near future.

The program, which has four part-time employees, serves youthful offenders (minors) as well as adult and juvenile diversion and bail supervision offenders, occupies about 1,500 square feet of space in the courthouse. It currently supervises 61 participants and utilizes space in probate court for a classroom.

Under a plan proposed by Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward, Restorative Justice Program Director Brian Loanes, Facilities Manager Dustin Muzzey and County Administrator Debra Shackett, the program would occupy space in the commissioner's wing of the county complex, including the facilities manager's office, the three county commissioner's offices and Conference Room 2, which would be used as a classroom.

The plan, proposed by Ward, sees the wing continuing as a mixed-use space that would allow access by the public to Conference Room 1, which is used for voting, commission and county convention meetings and public hearings, as well as other county departments for meetings and training.

Ward said that by using the access point entrance to the nursing home adequate levels of security would be maintained by using the ''buzz-in'' system and that both restorative justice staff and community corrections officers would be able to use an office located across from the rest room for participant check in.

The offices currently used by the commissioners would be vacated and reassigned for the case manager's use and could be used by the restorative justice staff during the day and community corrections officers at night. It is suggested that the commissioner's offices could be relocated to the support wing where there is an empty office and a conference room as well as other offices. Muzzey would be relocated to the support wing of the nursing home and would share an office with maintenance officer John Gilson.

As part of the changes, which could be completed by March 1, a door would be reinstalled past the public restrooms, which would limit access to the support services area. The door and the cost of relocating telephone and internet extensions and intranet access are the only costs associated with the move.

Both Ward and Loanes spoke highly of the new location, noting that it would allow them to work more closely together to complement what they currently do within the criminal justice system and eliminate duplication of services.

''We both deal with pre-trial confinement and community service and this will help community corrections getting out into the field,'' said Ward.

Loanes said he would be glad to work with Ward in either an independent position or being in the chain of command for community corrections.

Commissioner Hunter Taylor said he didn't think that such a change would be necessary. ''We should leave well enough alone.''

''I'm all for it. I don't need an office,'' said Commissioner Dave DeVoy.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 01:25

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