N.H. Agencies Request $450 Million for Projects

CONCORD, N.H. — State agency heads are asking lawmakers for $450 million to fund several public works projects, including the expansion of the state prison system.

According to proposals, the entire amount would be covered by state, federal, highway and other funds, or $290 million would come from bonds paid for with state revenues. Legislators, who usually cap bonded projects at $100 million, will not see the proposals until January.

Corrections officials are proposing a 500-bed addition to the prison in Berlin and a new 150-bed, minimum-security facility in Concord that would allow officials to close the prison in Laconia. At a cost of $26 million, the Berlin expansion would increase the prison’s capacity to 1,000 beds. The new facility in Concord would cost an additional $4.3 million.

If legislators reject the Berlin and Concord projects, corrections officials estimate that it would cost $6 million to renovate the century-old facility in Laconia, which is considered to be ill-suited as a prison.

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