Belknap County, Laconia, and NH have amazing natural beauty in their mountains, lakes, rivers, and views all over this “Live Free or Die” State. In Laconia we have one amazing piece of property that has amazing views and access to two of our Lakes, Winnisquam, and Opechee, this is known as the State School Property.
We’d like to thank NH State Rep. Dawn Johnson for this Op-Ed. If you have an Op-Ed or LTE
you would like us to consider please submit it to Skip@GraniteGrok or Steve@GraniteGrok.com.
For years the State and the City have been fighting over this land. We have/had commission studies and have spent plenty of money to come up with a solution to what to do with the land and the buildings. There is much clean-up work that needs to be done, that we all can agree on.
Instead of selling off all this amazing beauty to be developed with condos shopping plazas rehab facility or even a sports center, how about we work together to find a balance.
There is a balance that can be found, returning a portion of the 250 acres (estimated) to the tax base of Laconia by selling a porting that has the buildings on it to a developer and taking the remaining acreage, and add it to the Ahern State Park which is already an established local State park.
Below is the petition that I would like to share with everyone in NH, Belknap County, and Laconia:
With respect to the future redevelopment of the property known in Laconia, New Hampshire as the “State School Property”, we the undersigned petitioners strongly support the redevelopment of this property. As residents of the City, Belknap County and the State we believe it is important we are part of the decision-making process regarding the future use of this property. We believe the following redevelopment proposal will work for the benefit of the City of Laconia, Belknap County and NH residents and visitors to this area:
1. That section of the State School property currently containing structures occupied by State agencies, including any ancillary buildings within that designated area, should be sold to a qualified developer for redevelopment to its highest and best use, thereby returning that portion of the property to the City of Laconia’s tax rolls.
2. All other remaining open acreage (excluding Robbie Mills Park) shall be combined with Ahern State Park and developed into one State Park for the purpose of providing year-round recreational enjoyment for City residents, surrounding communities and visitors to the area. Because of its unique access to both Lake Winnisquam and Lake Opechee, the opportunities to develop this property into a year-round destination for outdoor activities are limitless. This would help keep Laconia and surrounding communities a place of beauty and a vacation destination for years to come, while providing revenue today, tomorrow and in the future.
If you believe in the beauty we have here in the Lakes Region and throughout the State of NH, click on the link to sign your name to the Petition to save this beauty we have today so that we all can enjoy it tomorrow.
NH State Rep. Dawn Johnson
Laconia District 3