Former Laconia State School Purchase Proposal Expiring; Beware of ‘Purple Fentanyl’

By: Paula Tracy,

PLAISTOW – A proposal to buy and rebuild a former Laconia State school is making its way into the state. Gov. Chris Sununu and the five-member executive committee expect they will soon be able to consider several proposals before deciding which one to choose.

Sununu and the executive committee met Wednesday at the Plaistow YMCA and also discussed an emerging threat to the state: the drug “purple fentanyl” and the threat it poses to people who think they are taking another drug and may become addicted.

At the meeting, the Governor and the City Council presented three commendations.

Salem Woodbury Middle School was named one of the state’s institutions to implement a hybrid education model during the COVID-19 crisis to meet the needs of students and their safety during the pandemic, and to provide “beyond” A safe and calm learning environment,” Sununu said.

They also honoured Steven Lewis of Atkinson, owner of Lewis Builders, for his efforts to develop workforce housing. The state is currently facing a crisis of lack of rental housing, especially for low- and moderate-income residents.

“You and (Executive Commissioner Janet) Stevens have made workforce housing an acceptable thing to do,” Lewis told the governor.

State Rep. Major Noam (R-Plaistow) and his 61-year-old wife, Major Brenda Major, were also honored.

Sununu, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, has worked for years to support community and GOP efforts.
“The rumor about the word ‘retirement’ is a joke,” Sununu said.

He praised the two professionals for their lifetimes of service to the community.

The meeting, one of a series of annual summer meetings on the road, was moderated by District 3 Executive Janet Stevens R-Rye. Each councillor in the five districts can chair a meeting.

It will be at Mount Washington within the next three weeks, and another September is planned at Jeffreys Airport.

Laconia State School Property

About a year ago, Sununu directed Administrative Services Commissioner Charlie Arlinghaus to sell the former public school property as-is, with its aging brick structure and open fields offering views of the Lake District.

The City of Laconia will then be able to put the property on the tax list, reducing the burden on taxpayers.

“From the outset, we said it was a property with huge potential,” Allinghouse said.

The state has hired a company to market the property, and he said he expects “we’ll get some — three to five –” conceptual offers, with an Aug. 19 submission deadline.

Arlinghaus said the governor and parliament would be the final say on the proposal, but it was a complex and atypical sale of state property.

“There will be preliminary numbers, suggestions and ideas” about what the property will look like, he said.
“What we’re going to do next is, and then we’ll talk to you,” he told the council, “and we’ll … discuss with lawyers how we can involve other parties.”

Sununu said he wants to involve as many cities, counties and others as possible in the sale.
All potential buyers were talking to the city at the same time, Arlinghaus said, stressing it was a “team effort”.

R-Wakefield executive Joe Kenney, whose area includes Laconia, said it was his understanding that the concept of proposals would eventually be scaled back by the department to provide some of the best proposals .

Arlinghaus noted that the council may need to be aware of all competing proposals.

Sununu said a new, highly lethal strain of fentanyl has been discovered in the state, and the street lingo is that it’s called “purple fentanyl” because of its color.

In a news conference after the meeting, Sununu said: “It’s a lot stronger than regular fentanyl. It takes three to four times as much Narcan to revive people, which we’re seeing on the streets of New Hampshire. Stuff, it’s very, very concerning because of its purity and strength.”

This is when parents prepare to send their children back to school.

The fundamental change in the state’s opioid crisis, he said, is that it’s “no longer just a market for users, it’s a market for cartels. It’s been a game-changer for the past year. The southern border is wide open. The purity of these substances. It’s enormous, the ability and willingness to mix these substances with marijuana, Adderall pills for children, Xanax for adults, wherever they mix fentanyl, knowing they have the potential to kill the individual, but they’re also more addictive.”

“It’s very scary,” he said.

The governor defended his decision to veto legislation allowing recreational marijuana sales, saying the state is statistically in better health than other states that have legalized.

New Hampshire is the only one of its surrounding states that has not yet legalized recreational marijuana.

Some argue that buying from a dispensary is safer than buying on the street, but Sununu said he feels comfortable keeping New Hampshire out of the world of legal marijuana.


Paul Raymond Jr. of Concord has been nominated as Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Services.

One step forward in Dover revival
The commission authorized the city of Dover to request work on Dover’s Cocheco River, including dredging, intended to be part of an economic revitalization plan to allow boats into the city center.

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