Deal would help city agency, corps

MANCHESTER – If all goes as planned, the Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps will soon be homeless, and Lamprey Health Care will have a new base for its Nashua Area Health Care Center.

The nonprofit health-care agency has signed a deal to pay $915,000 for the Spartans Hall at 73 E. Hollis St., which will pay off the mortgage in full, with money left over to help the group reorganize and pay off other creditors, Director Paul LaFlamme said Wednesday.

“I am looking at rekindling my grandfather’s legacy and moving it forward,” LaFlamme said, speaking after a hearing Wednesday in Bankruptcy Court.

The Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps have been performing since 1955 but filed for bankruptcy protection last fall. The group’s former director, LaFlamme’s uncle Peter LaFlamme, blamed the economy, but some board members, including his nephew, accused him of mismanagement.

On Wednesday, the Spartans filed plans and financial projections with the court, outlining how the new board hopes to rebuild the group. Spartans’ lawyer Eleanor Dahar said she would mail out the proposal to various creditors next week, after making some minor changes suggested by Judge Michael Deasy and the U.S. Trustee’s office. A majority of creditors must then vote on whether to approve it, and a follow-up hearing is scheduled June 2.

Related Court Documents:

The Spartans owe a total in excess of $195,000 to various creditors, mainly suppliers and for Citizens Bank credit cards, LaFlamme said.

The basic plan, LaFlamme said, is to spend the next few months reorganizing, raising funds and looking for a new base of operations. The Spartans will sell off their old busses, formerly used to run a charter service, and will no longer try to run bingo games, LaFlamme said.

The Spartans propose to keep their uniforms, instruments and trailers, which are essential to the group.

“We are returning to our basic roots . . . to run a drum corps,” he said.

LaFlamme said the group has a closing date of June 1 to sell the building.

Lamprey Health CEO Ann Peters and Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau attended a previous hearing, before the deal was signed, and said the city might partner with Lamprey Health and move the city Health Department into the building, too.

Lamprey’s Nashua Area Health Care Center took over pediatric services from the city’s Health Department in 2002, and now serves roughly 6,000 low-income patients in the city, Peters said. The center has been renting space inside Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, but the hospital wants the space back.

“It’s a great use of the building,” LaFlamme said. “I think it’s a good fit for them; it’s a good fit for us.”

Meanwhile, LaFlamme said he’s been scouting vacancies around the Nashua area, hoping to find a suitably inexpensive venue. The Spartans seldom used the hall for practice space in the past, he said, and they may be able to get by with smaller quarters.

The group hopes to begin recruiting staff and members this fall, practice through the winter and field a performing team next year, LaFlamme said.

“We are taking the summer off to reorganize our finances, reorganize the program,” he said.


The Spartan’s proposed reorganization plan can be seen online

spartans disclosure.pdf

spartans cashflow.pdf