Planning board approves Lake Gloriette House site plan

By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Sun

COLEBROOK — The Coos County Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan and subdivision application for the Lake Gloriette House portion of the Balsams project following a public hearing last Wednesday.
The Lake Gloriette House, including 12,000 square feet of conference center space, as well as residential units, food and beverage, retail and guest and ski services plus associated infrastructure, is expected to cost $50 million.
The Dix-Hampshire House renovations with associated infrastructure will run in the neighborhood of $30 million. That project was before the board last year.
The resort — a streamlined Planned Unit Development (PUD) — will be built in stages, explained Dixville Capital spokesman Ed Brisson, with a total price tag estimated at $170 million.
The ski area development will be brought before the panning board this fall.
The site plan for the Marketplace and the Nordic Baths located near the Captain’s Cottage will be brought before the board for review in spring 2018.
The site plan, covering a large area of Phase One, includes the footprint of the whole serpentine five-story Lake Gloriette House, the Great Lawn, replacement swimming pool, Gondola Plaza, and relocation of Spur Road. In early conceptual drawings, Lake Gloriette House was named Wilderness Lake Lodge.
When asked about the status of securing the needed financing package, including a $28 million loan guarantee from the state Business Finance Authority, Balsams spokesman Scott Tranchemontage said that progress was being made. “We’re at work on meshing all the elements and are still a few weeks away,” he said. A majority of the five-member state Executive Council would have to vote to concur with the Business Finance Authority’s recommendation.
The application for the Lake Gloriette House had been made in August but the board continued the meeting since all the necessary information was not available.
Dixville Capital has already submitted the required Alternation of Terrain permit application to the state Department of Environmental Services. Those elements of the plan, such as fire protection, potable water, sewer, groundwater and drainage that must be permitted by the state, are by board agreement being handled solely by the state in the interest of eliminating any unnecessary duplication of effort.
The planning board, in essence acquiesces to these state permits, said planning board Chairman John Scarinza.
Although documents for one or more condominium associations are not yet definite, they will be finalized before Dixville Capital seeks the state attorney general’s approval to offer units for sale. The attorney general’s involvement is due to its statutory interest in providing adequate consumer protection, pointed out attorney Christie Filmore of Gardner Fulton & Waugh of Lebanon.
Stephen Pernaw & Company of Concord submitted a detailed preliminary trip generation analysis for the Lake Gloriette House project in Dixville Notch. Plans for adequate snow storage were also submitted. The 45th Parallel EMS will continue to include The Balsams, now, during construction and after completion. Only an oversight kept the Colebrook Fire Department from submitting a similar letter of service.


Maine man dies while hiking Mount Washington

SARGENT’S PURCHASE — A Maine man died while hiking the Lion Head Trail up Mount Washington Saturday morning,
N.H. Fish and Game said Rolf Diamon, 66, of Windham, Maine, was hiking with his son when he started feeling ill. The two were approximately a quarter mile from the junction of Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine Trail and about two and a half miles from the Pinkham Notch Visitors' Center at the time. The father and son decided to turn around and head back to Pinkham Notch when Diamon suddenly collapsed.
His son immediately began CPR, assisted by other hikers who came upon the scene. An emergency call was made, and Fish and Game, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and Gorham Ambulance were mobilized.
Due to the nature of the medical emergency, Fish and Game requested air support from the N.H. National Guard unit in Concord. A Black Hawk helicopter responded and was able to hoist Diamon into the aircraft using a winch, avoiding the need to land.
Fish and Game said that despite the exhaustive efforts of hikers who provided constant resuscitation for over an hour, use of Automated External Defibrillation by first responders and the helicopter rescue, Diamon did not survive.
Diamon is listed as a lecturer in the sociology department at the University of Southern Maine.

Teen injured in dirt bike accident at Jericho Park

BERLIN — A Rhode Island teen was injured in an Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle crash on Sunday.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, multiple agencies responded to a single-vehicle OHRV crash on a sanctioned trail in Jericho Mountain State Park.
Michael Roy, 14, of Tiverton, R.I., crashed his trail bike shortly before 12:30 p.m. on a trail known as Holt’s Revenge. Upon receiving word of the incident, Berlin EMS, Berlin Fire Department, and a N.H. Fish and Game officer responded to the scene of the crash. Roy was subsequently taken by Berlin EMS to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for further evaluation and treatment. It was later determined that he sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.
The operator was wearing a helmet and eye protection at the time of the incident. Speed was not considered a factor in this crash, as he was operating the trail bike on somewhat technical terrain.

Ray's Electric gets bid for Route 110 mitigation work

BERLIN — A local firm has been awarded the bid to do the mitigation for the Route 110 project. Ray’s Electric and General Contracting of Berlin was the only bidder, and the state Executive Council last Wednesday approved its bid of $228,579.
The work includes placement of a gateway sign, an interpretive sign, benches, historical district street signs, landscaping and construction of a small playground area. The contract with the firm runs through June 29, 2018.
The mitigation was required as part of the re-alignment of Route 110. The state Division of Historic Resources deemed 29 of the 31 structures removed for the reconstruction from First Avenue to Wight Street were historic. Documentation determined that Berlin Heights Addition was designed and built between 1892-1920. A mix of single-family homes, duplexes and triple-deckers served a diverse population from various ethnic backgrounds.
Historic markers will be installed at two locations — across from the Berlin Police Station on Green Street and near Third Avenue. A small park will be built on Green Street.
While Ray’s Electric’s bid was higher than Department of Transportation’s estimate for the project, the letter to the executive council from N.H. Department of Transporation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan said it was reasonable for the work involved. Ray’s Electric also was the successful bidder on the bathhouse/shower building at Jericho Mountain State Park two years ago.