City approves land swap with state

  • The Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid and 911 dispatch center will be relocated to a field that sits diagonally across from the Robbie Mills Sports Complex at the corner of Meredith Center Road and Lane Road. Jon Decker—The Laconia Daily Sun

Laconia Daily Sun
Published: 5/12/2022 4:33:48 PM

The Laconia City Council approved a land swap proposed by the State of New Hampshire for parcels near the State School Property and Robbie Mills Field at its May 9 meeting. If the agreement is accepted by the State Executive Council, the state would resume ownership of a seven-acre parcel diagonally across Meredith Center Road and Lane Road from Robbie Mills Field. In exchange, Laconia would acquire ownership of a ten-acre plot at the intersection of Old North Main Street and Parade Road.

Both pieces of land are currently owned by the state and leased by the city, therefore the land swap requires the city to partially vacate the lease that includes those properties. The full agreement approved by the council can be found at laconianh.gov/AgendaCenter/
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fileID=43434.

According to City Manager Scott Myers, the state initiated the land swap so that it may relocate Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid (LRMFA) and the E911 dispatch services located on the State School Property, currently for sale by the state, to the land near Robbie Mills Field.

According to City Manager Scott Myers, the state proposed the land swap because the new location near Robbie Mills field would be able to accommodate both E911 and LRMFA’s needs, and its proximity to the State School property would mean that the E911’s fiber network would only have to be extended a minimal distance.

According to Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie, New Hampshire Department of Safety (NHDOS) Commissioner Robert Quinn told the Board of Directors at LRMFA that the intention of the state was to build a new LRMFA facility at the state’s expense. The goal of both parties, Beattie said, is to execute the relocation “without downshifting any of those costs to the local communities,” though this plan has not been finalized.

The NH amended HB 148 on April 28 to allow American Rescue Plan money to be used for the relocation and reconstruction of new facilities for LRMFA and the E911 call center. Read the amendment at legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1548/2022.

NHMFA Chief Coordinator Jonathan Goldman said that, though an official relocation plan has not been made, he is confident that the radio network for LRMFA is robust enough to be able to complete a transfer to a new location without any gaps in service.

“Our preference is that the night shift could turn off the lights in the old building, and the day shift turn them on in the new one,” Goldman said. If for any reason there was a pause in LRMFA’s ability to provide service, the Capital Area Mutual Aid Fire Compact would be able to cover the Lakes Region temporarily.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.



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