Lakes and Trails Get $1M Each in Contracts Approved by the Council

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Paula Tracy photo

Gov. Chris Sununu and 'Governor for a Day' Andrew Flockton are pictured at the Governor and Executive Council meeting Wednesday with HHS Commissioner Lori Weaver to their left.

Gov. Chris Sununu and ‘Governor for a Day’ Andrew Flockton shake hands with visiting students at the Governor and Executive Council meeting Wednesday at the State House. Paula Tracy photo


CONCORD – The Executive Council approved $1 million for OHRV trail repairs and $1 million for cyanobacteria prevention in state waters during its meeting Wednesday.

It also had two governors at the council table, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and “Governor for a Day” Andrew Flockton of Milford.


Immediately after the meeting, New Hampshire’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced $1 million in funding to improve the statewide trail system following damage caused by historic rain and flooding events in 2023.

The money will go to trail groups without need for matching funding, which is usually the case.

And there is, however, more damage than the $1 million will cover, Executive Councilor Joe Kenney of Wakefield, a Republican, said.

Particularly impacted in July 2023 were trail networks within Pittsburg to the north and Swanzey in the southwest. 

It was then compounded during the December 18, 2023 storm. 

During the second weather event, extensive trail damage also occurred in the Berlin, Gorham, and Randolph areas, particularly within Jericho Mountain State Park in the Great North Woods.

“The thousands of miles that make up New Hampshire’s trail system play such an important role in New Hampshire’s outdoor economy,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “Following storm damage over the last few months, we’re moving quickly to provide local clubs with the financial support needed to repair hundreds of miles of trails.”

“We are excited that this funding is being made available to our hard-working clubs and volunteers to assist in repairing the trails that were so severely impacted across the state by recent storms,” said DNCR Commissioner Sarah Stewart. “Eighty percent of the statewide trail network is located on private lands, and these funds will be put to good use to repair those storm-damaged trails and to ensure that the trail network remains connected to communities while being safe for all trail users, including motorized and non-motorized recreation.”

In recent years, registrations for motorized Off Highway Recreational Vehicles and snowmobiles have reached all-time highs, she noted.

Combined annual registrations now average more than 80,000 units. 

Snowmobiling alone in New Hampshire generates $500 million annually in revenue to the state economy.

The $1 million in funding will be distributed through the Grant-In-Aid Program as 100 percent grants, with no match required, which is different from the usual method which requires a match.

The GIA Program is normally funded through OHRV and snowmobile registrations along with unrefunded gas taxes.

The money will be made available as part of the GIA Program’s spring grant round of funding, which currently has a May 3, 2024, deadline for clubs to apply.  

Clubs were notified of the potential availability of these funds in early April.


The council also unanimously voted to approve New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services request for two contracts totaling $1 million in funding to make lakes and waterbodies across the Granite State cleaner and healthier by reducing cyanobacteria blooms.

Also known as “blue-green algae” cyanobacteria blooms have been documented in 113 water bodies statewide and account for 64 water quality impairments to recreational use. 

In the 2023 monitoring season, the NH Department of Environmental Services recorded the highest number of bloom events on record, issuing 69 advisories across 47 lakes. Some lakes had multiple advisories. Four water bodies had advisories issued for more than 100 days and ten had advisories longer than 50 days. 

In 2023, the Department of Environmental Services was appropriated $1 million for cyanobacteria mitigation through the biennial budget. The Governor and Executive Council are supplementing this funding with $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

One of the grants is for the Lake Kanasatka Association to spend $500,000 to fund treatment of phosphorus in Center Harbor and significantly reduce or eliminate cyanobacteria algae blooms.


After 34 years as a judge, David D. King of Colebrook is planning to retire July 1. 

The council accepted his resignation and Kenney praised him for being “fair minded.” Executive Councilor Janet Stevens of Rye, a Republican, acknowledged his leadership on a national level as did Sununu, a Republican.

The council confirmed Jonathan S. Frizzell of Colebrook as justice of the Superior Court. Kenney said Frizzell is just what the court system needs now in the north country.

His confirmation was unanimous.

The governor also nominated Lindsey Courtney of Manchester as justice of the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Currently she is the executive director of the state Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

George Copadis has been nominated to another term as Commissioner of Labor.

For a new position in state government, Joshua K. Marshall of Canterbury has been nominated to be assistant commissioner to the state department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.


Andrew Flockton, of Milford, was selected from several hundred applicants to be 2024 “Governor for a Day.”

That “day” came for him on Wednesday when he sat at the executive council table with Sununu saying “aye” to all contracts, shook hands with visiting children at the State House, met with the Secretary of State and participated in everything Sununu did during the day.

Flockton, a 7th grader at Milford Middle School wrote a “really amazing essay,” Sununu said to get the job as kid governor for the day. 

He noted Flockton worked on an effort to change the state flag, which did not pass legislative muster this year, but as the governor said, “maybe next year.”

Sitting with a postcard size picture of his idea for a new state flag, it shows the profile of the Old Man of the Mountain, nine stars in a circle and the motto “LIVE FREE OR DIE” at the bottom.

The governor said he likes it.

He used the opportunity before the state’s press corps to lobby for the change arguing that the current flag has a depiction of a boat, the USS Raleigh, which was built in Maine and captured by the British.  

Flockton is a member of his school’s student council and student newspaper, the Granite Town Tribune. He said he hopes to write about the experience and has already become a bit of a star at his school with kids giving him high fives and wanting to congratulate him for the honor.

In his submission, he wrote of his interest in local government, business, and tourism.

Sununu said Flockton’s submission “captured the importance of civic engagement and the Live Free or Die Spirit that makes our state so special.”

The “Governor for a Day” initiative was launched in New Hampshire in 2018 to foster civic education and promote youth participation in government. The competition is open to all Middle and High School students across the Granite State.

Interested applicants were invited to submit a 250 – 500 word essay completing the sentence, “If I were Governor for a day, I would…” 

One individual is selected annually to serve as the official student “Governor for a Day” and is invited to join Governor Sununu for a day full of educational experiences.

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