By Chris Jensen
DIXVILLE — State transportation officials are holding off spending about $2.3 million to repair a road at the Balsams Resort until it is clear that developer Les Otten is moving ahead with the project.
The contractor for Golf Links Road has been selected, but the contract hasn’t been sent to the Executive Council for approval, said Phil Beaulieu, the engineer who heads up Department of Transportation’s office in the North Country.
Beaulieu said before seeking final approval there needs to be “some reasonable confidence” that the Balsams redevelopment will happen.
The seasonal 1.8 mile road connects the hotel and golf course, but belongs to the state. It is badly eroded and repairs will be challenging, according to an evaluation last year by DOT officials.
Fixing it will help the Balsams, state development officials have said. Once repaired it would be turned over to the resort, which would be responsible for future maintenance.
Some local officials, including Coos County Commissioner Rick Samson, have complained that the money should be used on other county roads.
Originally state transportation officials said they hoped to begin work in the summer of 2016.
But Otten is still working on getting all the financing needed for the $143 million project.
The $2.3 million contract to repair the road was awarded to AB Excavating of Lancaster, the lowest of three bidders.
InDepthNH.org is NH’s nonprofit news website published online by the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism. Veteran journalist Chris Jensen covers the North Country and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org(603-869-5451)