Bottom Line: Lebanon boat cover business docks in new berth

  • John Lippman. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 5/18/2019 10:11:03 PM

Peter Kermond’s business is coming out of its shell.

The champion rower and Hanover High School rowing coach has acquired the Knights of Columbus building on Hanover Street in Lebanon, where he is relocating Burnham Boat Slings to one of the most visible corners in the city.

Burnham — Boat Slings is being dropped from its name — previously operated out of Mike Davidson’s Excelsior Mill building on Bank Street Extension. Kermond is converting the former KoC space into a workshop where he, his son Patrick Kermond and three employees will custom-make boat covers and travel accessories for rowing shells.

“We’ll move the shop down here. It’s a good investment property for us. It wasn’t overly expensive and with what we’ve been paying in rent we’ll save over the long term,” Kermond said.

Among the unique tools of Kermond’s trade is a 45-foot-by-6-foot cutting table, which disassembles in sections in order to make the move into the KoC building. He also is moving eight sewing machines and various other pieces of manufacturing equipment.

The KoC building is across from Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the former Listen thrift store and at the busy three-way intersection of Hanover, High and Hough streets. It’s the second commercial property on Hanover Street to change hands recently — only a couple months ago the neighboring Hirsch’s building on Hanover Street was acquired by West Lebanon property owner Sam Altaf.

Fans of Alexandra Shrewsbury’s Dazzle Cupcakes, which occupies the space adjacent to the former KoC hall, need not fret. Kermond said he will continue to lease the space to her signature bakery (Lebanon Nails & Spa, which occupies the other end, is a separately owned building).

The importance of doing good deeds

Recording ownership of property is one of mankind’s oldest forms of record keeping — some even speculate that it’s the reason writing was invented in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. But now in Grafton County you can use your phone to check who snapped up that property you had your eye on.

The Grafton County Registry of Deeds in North Haverhill has introduced new online tools for the public to search the county’s database of property records. The new online tools, called Laredo and AVA, are designed to make it easier to search deeds, mortgages, plans and surveys online while also offering better security, said Kelley Monahan, Grafton County’s register of deeds.

Laredo, for example, allows the user to look up property records by owner’s name — previously it involved a cumbersome process of matching information from the property’s tax card on file with the town — and has an “on the go” app that can be downloaded onto an iPhone or iPad. Users also can get text and email alerts each time a document is filed relating to a particular property.

Bells and whistles, however, don’t come free: Laredo requires a $120 account setup fee plus a $5 monthly maintenance fee. Copies of record searches cost $1 per page, as they did previously.

The more robust platform is designed for heavy and frequent users who need regular access to property records, such as real estate agents and attorneys, Monahan said.

AVA, which is designed as a pay-as-you-go platform for the one-time or less-frequent user, does not require an account but instead charges $1.05 per copy ($1 goes to the county and 5 cents to the vendor for credit card processing fees).

Both platforms are developed and managed by Fidlar Technologies of Davenport, Iowa.

The deed registry’s old online search system, Tapestry — also developed by Fidlar — still is available for those who prefer to use it, Monahan noted. All three platforms are accessible by going to the Grafton County Registry of Deeds webpage.

Of course, people wanting copies of deed records still can have them mailed and faxed to them (charges apply). And, as before, the deeds registry in North Haverhill is open for anyone who prefers the pre-internet walk-in method of looking up property records.

“We still have people who come here, believe it or not,” Monahan said.

Two accountants buy 2 Guys

White River Junction accountant Richard Paul says clients shouldn’t expect an ice cream window, but he and professional colleague Kimberly LaBarge have purchased the storefront that was formerly occupied by 2 Guys Pies and Hartford Pizza on Route 5 in Hartford and are undertaking a $100,000 renovation of the building where they will move their accounting practices from their current location on Railroad Row.

“We’re expanding. We have a new person coming on, and we’re looking to hire a couple more folks in the next few months,” Paul said. Paul — who along with LaBarge is an alum of Hartford High School — gave a shout-out to New Hampshire-based Service Credit Union and Hartford’s Revolving Business Loan Fund which makes loans to small businesses that generate jobs in town, with helping them to swing the $240,000 purchase of the property.

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