Warmer, drier winter leaves city’s winter maintenance budget strong

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Warm temperatures and scant snowfall has spared the city's winter maintenance budget, which last year closed in the red.
By the end of January a year ago, the city had exhausted $343,930, or 85 percent, of its winter maintenance budget of $406,000. Expenditures were $43,440 in November, $170,066 in December and $130,424 in January. When the season ended, the budget was overspent by $75,000 and the deficit offset by transferring unexpended funds from other departments without drawing on the winter maintenance reserve account.
So far this winter, expenses are less than half those of last year. By the end of January, the city had spent $170,447, or only 38 percent of the $445,500 that was budgeted. Almost half the expenditures this year were incurred in January when $58,322 was spent dealing with two icing events and seven snow storms, and another $26,637 replenishing stocks of salt and sand. Through January, there is a remaining balance of $275,052.
City Manager Scott Myers said that any funds remaining when winter ends could be transferred to the undesignated fund balance or applied to the winter maintenance reserve account, which has a current balance of $95,397.

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The winners sweep the city

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Preliminary results show that Donald Trump swept all six wards in the city to lead the Republican field by a wide margin the New Hampshire Presidential Primary yesterday.

Trump polled 1,094 votes, carrying wards 4 and 5 by two-to-one margins, nearly twice the number cast for John Kasich, the former congressman and governor of Ohio, who ran second with 567 votes. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, finished third with 447 votes. After strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida finished out of the money with 410 and 347 votes respectively.

Trump ran strongest in wards 4, 5 and 6, where his margins over Kasich, his closest rival, were two-to-one or better. Kasich ran a clear second in wards 1, 3,4 and 6 and a dead heat with Cruz in ward 5.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey with 232 votes, former business executive Carly Fiorina with 171 votes and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 92 votes trailed the field of leading candidates.

Meanwhile, in the race for the Democratic nomination Senator Bernie Sanders also carried all six wards to top Hillary Clinton, 1330 to 929. Like Trump, Sanders polled his widest margins in wards 4, 5 and 6.

Of the 9,896 registered voters in the city, 5,831, or 59 percent, cast ballots. The turnout was highest in ward 1, where 1,140 of 1,793, or 64 percent went to the polls followed ward 6, where 1,284 of 2,076 registered voters cast ballots.

Grateful for the Children's Auction

Warren Bailey, Christopher Boothby and Tony Felch of the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction distributed $53,500 among representatives of seven organizations at Lakes Region General Hospital yesterday. Kidworks Learning Center received $2,500, LRGH Family Birthplace $10,000, Inter-Lakes Day Care Center $5,000, Spaulding Youth Center $12,000, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) NH $12,000, Easter Seals NH Camp Sno-Mo $7,000, and Tiny Twisters $5,000. Each agency will apply the funds to capital projects.  (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Warren Bailey, Christopher Boothby and Tony Felch of the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction distributed $53,500 among representatives of seven organizations at Lakes Region General Hospital yesterday. Kidworks Learning Center received $2,500, LRGH Family Birthplace $10,000, Inter-Lakes Day Care Center $5,000, Spaulding Youth Center $12,000, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) NH $12,000, Easter Seals NH Camp Sno-Mo $7,000, and Tiny Twisters $5,000. Each agency will apply the funds to capital projects. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).