A+ A A-

Rte. 106 from Laconia to Belmont village, Parade Road & Meredith Center Road on tentative DOT fix list

LACONIA — Less than a year after city officials met with then commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) Chris Clement at City Hall. to discuss the condition of state highways serving the city, the DOT has tentatively scheduled more than 21 miles of roadway for improvement during the 2015 construction season.

The four projects are the 6.8 miles of Rte. 106 (Parade Road) from Lexington Drive to the Meredith roundabout;, 5.9 miles of Meredith Center Road between its intersections with Rte. 106 (Parade Road) in Laconia and Rte. 104 in Meredith, 3.5 miles of Rte. 11-B from its intersection with Rte. 11 (Sawyer's Daily Bar/Patrick's Pub corner) to the Weirs roundabout and 5 miles of Rte. 106 South from South Main Street in Laconia to its intersection with Rte. 140 in Belmont village.

The scheduled projects are subject to sufficient funding and pavement conditions.

Last August Mayor Ed Engler and City Councilor David Bownes (Ward 2) City Manager Scott Myers, Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia), met with Clement. Their major concerns included Rte. 106 and Rte 11-B, but also Lily Pond Road (Rte. 11-C), which provides access to the Laconia Municipal Airport.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 02:02

Hits: 243

Former Belknap Convention chair Worsman suggests her own 2015 budget

By Michael Kitch

LACONIA — While the Belknap County Convention wrestles with the 2105 county budget and the Belknap County Commissioners wrestle with each other, Colette Worsman, the Meredith Republican who chaired the convention in 2013 and 2104, climbed into the ring this week by offering a proposed budget of her own.

Worsman did not run for re-election as a state representative for Meredith and Gilford in November 2014.

Running to 31 pages in a format of her own design, Worsman's budget proposal includes recommended appropriations for every line item.

Representative Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), who succeeded Worsman as chair of the convention, said yesterday that Worsman sent her budget to the commissioners, who shared it with some members of the convention. "I've looked at it," he said yesterday, "and even copied a few pages."

However, Tilton emphasized that the convention has taken the budget proposed by the prior commission in December as its starting point and has begun developing a "working budget," which reflects the changes the convention has made to the original. Since Worsman prepared her budget from scratch, he said that her suggestions must be compared — line by line — to the appropriations in the baseline budget and the adjustments made by the convention.

"I value her input," Tilton remarked.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 158

Burchell's colleagues planning to oust him as chair

LACONIA — Heeding the soothsayer's warning to "beware the Ides of March," Richard Burchell took steps yesterday to thwart the intent of his fellow Belknap County commissioners — Hunter Taylor and Dave DeVoy — to oust him from the chairman's post in favor of DeVoy when the commission meets Monday morning.

After bickering throughout the morning, Burchell informed his colleagues by e-mail that "I will use the Sheriff's Office to clear the room if what you have contemplated is attempted."

In a letter sent to The Laconia Daily Sun yesterday, Taylor revealed that he would offer a motion to "reorganize" the commission and, if it carries, would nominate DeVoy to replace Burchell as chairman.

Taylor referred to the rift among the commissioners over the 2015 county budget and, noting that Burchell absented himself from the process and has criticized the position of the majority, wrote that "the commissioner who had been selected to chair the commission refused to be part of the team in addressing its first important responsibility." Moreover, he doubted that Burchell has "the temperament to lead the team through the differences of opinion that inevitably arise."

(Taylor's letter is published on page 6.)

When Burchell got wind of what was up he instructed county Administrative Assistant Angela Bovill to prepare an agenda, which made no mention of reorganizing the commission. He closed by asking her to "please see that there is a uniformed representative of the Sheriff's office at this meeting" and declared, "there will not be any additions to this agenda per order of the chair."

Shortly afterwards Taylor and DeVoy countermanded Burchell's instructions and directed Bovill to post an agenda on the county website, on which the first item of new business is "reorganization of the Belknap County Board of Commissioners".

Burchell said that he consulted with Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlon in Concord who informed him that "they have no statutory basis for doing this." Then he advised Taylor and DeVoy, "Please understand that the agenda will not be so loosely drawn as to allow for a reorganization of county officers. There is no statutory basis nor is there a basis in tradition," he continued, "for changing officers because you do not agree with a specific policy which may be advocated by an officer."

Taylor said he also spoke with Scanlon, who told him that he referred Burchell to the state statute reading, (RSA 28:1-b) "All rights, authority and powers of the county commissioners shall be exercised only by vote of a majority of the county commissioners." Dismissing Burchell's rendering of the law, Taylor remarked "how he got from there to where he is, I don't know."

Speaking to dissension among the commissioners, Taylor said that "temperament is a vital part of being a chairman and Mr. Burchell has not evidenced the sort of temperament one should bring to the chairmanship." He offered his refusal to participate with his fellow commissioners and county officials in a daylong meeting to address the budget as one example. Likewise, Taylor said when DeVoy explained that family issues have placed demands on his time and asked his colleagues to make allowances in scheduling meetings, Burchell was reluctant to accommodate him.

Finally, Taylor recalled a meeting at which he and Burchell had a difference of opinion. He said that Burchell got up and started for the door, then,  when asked, returned, but said, "move it on. You've got five minutes." Taylor said that he told Burchell "'you can't tell me how long I have to speak.'" He said Burchell replied, "I don't have to listen to you," to which Taylor responded "you sure don't". At that point, Taylor said, Burchell told DeVoy, "you're leading this county down the road to disaster," called him "Colonel Puffer", and left the room.

Taylor said he could find nothing that afforded special prerogatives to the chairman. "He is one of a team of three and should behave as a member of a team," he said.

Taylor said that apart from differences over the budget, Burchell is bent on imposing what he calls a "business model" of administration on the county by eliminating the positions of county administrator and finance director and requiring department heads to report directly to the commissioners. Noting that neighboring Carroll County has operated without a county administrator, Taylor said that he met with members of that commission, who told him that a recent study of their county found that its administration was "inefficient". As a result the Carroll County commissioners have included $105,000 in this year's budget to hire an administrator with a financial background. Yet Burchell, he said, has remained insistent.

"I've been fairly consistent," Burchell told The Daily Sun. "I'm just going to advocate what I believe in."

He repeated that there is "no statute, no precedent" for removing the chairman of the county commission, but added "if a judge so rules, I'll gladly step down."

Burchell remarked that a professor once told him "if you keep your sanity through the Ides of March, you're good for another year."

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 03:01

Hits: 1049

Heroin overdose death suspected at Merrimac Street home in Laconia

LACONIA — Police are reporting another likely fatal heroin overdose that was reported early yesterday morning on Merrimac Street.

Capt. Matt Canfield said the victim was a 31-year-old male who he is not identifying because all of his family has yet to be informed.

Canfield said an autopsy and a preliminary toxicology screening are scheduled but the death has "all the indication of being a probable overdose".

He said there was some drug paraphernalia found found at the scene.

He said the overdose was reported to police at 3:17 a.m. by some of the victims friends or relatives who were not at Merrimac Street when they called.

The man's death is being actively investigated.

Police also responded to a non-fatal heroin overdose of a 27-year-old female who was staying at the Landmark Inn on Thursday.

Firefighters/EMTs were able to revive her with a dose of the opioid antidote Narcan.

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 02:31

Hits: 794

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette