Lakes Region Planning Commission’s director begins first day
Coming from his job as executive director of the North Country Council, Jeff Hayes, 45, sees a quality of uniqueness in the Lakes Region that he appreciates.
A native of North Conway, Hayes has worked on the four-state Northern Forest Sustainable Energy Initiative, which dealt with the shared challenges facing Northern Forest communities. He was also part of the New Hampshire Living Wage study, which identified disparities between salaries and the cost of living in areas of the state.
In leaving his position, Koulet cited many needs, among them infrastructure failings, that should be addressed by his successor.
“Transportation infrastructure is something I’ve always been very involved in, and we have a substantial number of ‘red-list’ bridges in the Lakes Region that badly need repair,” he said. “We also have a lot of facilities that need upgrade and repair.”
Hayes and his staff will be finishing one of Koulet’s projects, the Lakes Region Plan, a comprehensive plan that will reflect the vision and priorities of the region’s communities. A draft will be completed by summer, and a final version will be voted on by the commission by the end of 2014, Koulet said.
“I’m very excited about the Lakes Region,” he said. “It will be important to keep a healthy balance between economic development and water quality, while at the same time recognizing that there can be more economic opportunity in some areas.”
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