City of Laconia Planning Department
In August 2009, the LRPC was awarded two three-year Brownfields Community-Wide Assessment Grants ($200,000 for Petroleum and $200,000 for Hazardous Substances) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist public and private property owners with site assessment and redevelopment planning for contaminated properties. The goal of the Lakes Region Brownfields Environmental Assessment Program is to return vacant and underutilized properties to public or private uses.
One of the first project funded by the LRPC Brownfields Advisory Committee for a phase I Environmental Assessment was the former Lakes Region Facility. In addition, the New Hampshire State Legislature established the The Commission to Evaluate Long-Term Uses of Lakes Region Facility (The Commission) to assess the short- and long-term uses of the Lakes Region Facility in Laconia by determining and recommending the disposition, redevelopment or sale of the property in part or in whole, whichever is in the best interest of the residents of New Hampshire.
On March 20, 2010 a Public Information Session was held at which a consulting team and the City Planner presented an overview of the site characteristics and history of the property to twenty-eight invited panelists and approximately twenty-one area residents. The panel members were then presented with a list of approximately thirty site re-use options that were culled from the public input sessions conducted as part of the EPA study. After considerable discussion and a listing of the major advantages and disadvantages of many of the re-use ideas, the panel members were invited to vote on their re-use preferences. Please click here to view the resulting Visioning Report in its entirety.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided funding and technical support to assist The Commission in fulfilling its appointed task. The Lake's Region Facility was a pilot project for the implementation of the Process for Risk Evaluation, Property Analysis and Reuse Decisions (PREPARED) Workbook. The PREPARED workbook is designed for government officials facilitating the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated properties.
The PREPARED Workbook is designed for government officials facilitating the cleanup and revitalization of potentially contaminated properties. The focus of this workbook is on properties that are complicated by concerns regarding the environmental conditions and other issues. Specifically, the PREPARED workbook:Outlines a risk management framework for evaluating actions that can bring about the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.
- Discusses some key considerations in the evaluation process and the preparation of a redevelopment strategy.
- Provides general information and references to other sources of information relevant to the evaluation and the redevelopment process.
- Provides worksheets that can be used to guide the evaluation process.
The following project approach was agreed to by The Commission, EPA, SRA and Vita Nuova, LLC
- Lakes Region Facility Subcommittee, with assistance from SRA/Vita Nuova, would complete the PREPARED Worksheet #1, which outlines the project goals.
- SRA/Vita Nuova would conduct a reuse assessment on the property which will include an opportunity and constraints analysis and a market analysis.
- During the same period, the Lakes Region Planning Commission's (LRPC) environmental consultant, Credere Associates, will complete a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on the property.
- Stakeholder interviews would be completed to obtain input from interested parties and a public community meeting would be held to solicit input regarding reuse options at the subject property.
- Following completion of the stakeholder process, SRA/Vita Nuova's design team would develop three (3) land use scenarios based upon the information gathered.
- The land use scenarios would be analyzed using the PREPARED workbook to determine potential property recovery actions.
Two other Laconia Phase I reports were completed with LRPC's EPA grant monies