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February 13. 2014 9:50PM

I-93 welcome center, overlook honoring Ray Burton OK'd

CONCORD — The new visitors center on the northbound side of Interstate 93 in Hooksett will be named after longtime Executive Councilor Raymond Burton, who died in November.

Also, the Senate approved Senate Bill 357 Thursday naming the scenic overlook on Route 302 in the village of Bretton Woods, across from the entrance to the Mount Washington Hotel, and the visitors center after Burton, who was serving his 18th term as the District 1 executive councilor when he died of cancer. The vote was 24-0 vote.

The scenic overlook was dedicated to Burton at a ceremony attended by most of the state's political hierarchy several weeks before he died.

Burton was praised on the Senate floor as the example of a public servant for future officeholders in the state.

"Ray always worked to bring people together," said Sen. Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith. "He truly made his life's work, the people's work."

The developer of the new welcome center, the Common Man's Alex Ray, asked to name the northbound center after Burton, Forrester said.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, noted he was an intern for Burton many years ago.

"Many of us are better public servants because his spirit is within all of us," Woodburn said.

The new full-service visitors center will replace the existing state liquor stores, visitors center and vending machines.

The new welcome centers on both sides of I-93 in Hooksett will have single buildings that house state liquor stores, visitors centers, 1950s-style diners, Italian farmhouse restaurants, old-time delis, breakfast shops, convenience stores and gas pumps.

The buildings on the northbound side are slated to be completed by the end of the year.

A special election will be held March 11 to replace Burton. Republican Joe Kenney of Wakefield faces off against Democrat Michael Cryans of Hanover.


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