The city manager’s office sent out the City Manager’s Newsletter last Friday. The full newsletter can be found by going to concordnh.gov and clicking the “Newsletter” button. Here are some highlights:
Absentee ballots for election
The City Clerk’s Office expects to receive absentee ballots for the upcoming Nov. 3, 2020, Election in early October. Upon receipt of those ballots, from the Secretary of State’s Office, staff will begin processing and mailing out absentee ballots to all residents that have requested them. Please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 225-8500 or via email at email@example.com with any questions.
Parks and Recreation
This month we have been able to restart our “in person” youth, adult and senior citizen programs. It has been great to have the kids back playing in our fall soccer and flag football leagues, our adult programs are back at the City Wide Community Center (yoga, fitness classes, learn a language etc.) and many of our senior citizen programs have restarted. The department would like to thank everyone who is taking part as they have been great following all the new COVID-19 rules.
The parks division remains busy supporting the departments youth fall sports, fall baseball games as well as games and practices for the three high schools who use city fields for their fall sports. With the cooler temps, staff will be able to reduce the amount of time spent on mowing and will soon focus on cleaning up overgrown areas (brush etc.) in many of the parks. In mid-October the six parks staff will begin leaf pick up in the 18 city parks while continuing to support the fall sports. All parks remain carry in/carry out as service levels remain reduced due to lower staffing levels this year.
To see the Library’s new Needs Assessment and Preliminary Conceptual Program presentation visit concordnh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15884/CPL-Architectural-Survey.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Concord Public Library joins the American Library Association and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.
This year, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a mission to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chairwoman. In her new role, Wonder Woman will promote the value of libraries and encourage everyone to get their very own library card. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.
There is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources, and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom, and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions.
Libraries offer everything from early literacy programs to virtual homework help and continuing education classes, helping transform lives and communities through education. At CPL, you’ll find a wide variety of educational resources and activities, including programming for all ages, online databases, and downloadable materials.
“Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children,” said Todd Fabian, library director. “Concord Public Library, along with libraries everywhere, continue to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving needs of our community.” To sign up for a library card or to learn more about the library’s resources and programs, visit concordpubliclibrary.net.
The cemetery division continues to have a busier than normal year with folks buying burial plots and continues to have an increase in the number of overall burials (not COVID-19 related). Staff will be able to reduce the amount of time spent mowing soon and starting in mid-October, will start leaf pick up in the 13 cemeteries.
The Concord City Council has determined that to continue to reduce the spread and infection of COVID-19, it is in the interest of the health and safety of all Concord citizens, residents, visitors, businesses, and the employees of our City and businesses, to wear face coverings while inside a retail establishment. This includes, but is not limited to, department stores, drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and retail or wholesale stores.
“Face covering” is defined as a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers at least the nose, mouth, and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made, homemade, or improvised from ordinary household material.
Customers (ages five and older) are required to wear a face-covering at all times when inside a retail establishment. A face covering is not required to be worn by any person in which doing so may pose a risk for health-related reasons. However, in these cases, special effort should be taken to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other individuals.
Education will be the first step in enforcement. Penalties for non-compliance are as follows: 1st offense – a written warning, 2nd offense and subsequent offense – a $15 fine. The failure to pay the penalty within ten (10) days shall result in the fine doubling. The failure to pay the penalty within twenty (20) business days shall result in an additional fee or four times the original fee. Failure to pay the penalty fee after twenty (20) business days may also result in the issuance of a summons to appear in court to answer to the charge of violating the ordinance.
More information about the ordinance, including printable posters for businesses and a set of FAQs, are available at concordnh.gov.
As of Sept. 24, drought conditions in New Hampshire continue to worsen. Now communities just to the east of Concord have entered extreme drought conditions, affecting 8.47% of the state. At this time, Concord remains to be in a severe drought with severe drought conditions now in 88.54% of New Hampshire. The precipitation deficit continues to grow, now at 9.83 inches below average for this time of year. There does not appear to be a lot of rain anticipated in the upcoming forecast, but the National Weather Service does predict a normal probability of precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days.
Concord’s water production last week was a daily average of 5.0 MGD (millions of gallons per day), which is less than the 5.4 MGD daily average from the week before, but consumption continues to trend 10% higher than the average of the last three years and the drought year of 2016. Dry conditions are persisting and recent warmer temperatures have been returning which has led to continued irrigation and outdoor water use. Thankfully the changing of the seasons led to some decrease in water consumption compared to this summer’s high average of 6.5 MGD (which is about 1 MGD+ more than the average summer). We are hopeful that we will see a continued decrease in consumption as fall continues with less need for irrigation.
We remind everyone to please use water wisely and minimize outdoor water use. Concord’s water supply remains healthy while supplementing from the Contoocook River, but water conservation is still highly recommended to maintain our water source and to keep the City’s water production within reasonable limits. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored closely. Watering restrictions are not currently in place for Concord, but it is possible restrictions could be implemented if there is a pattern of high water consumption and drought conditions continue. We thank everyone for their efforts to conserve water. Every drop counts! Find drought updates and water conservation tips at concordnh.gov/conservation.
Merrill Pool renovation
Concord General Services’ Public Properties Division is working with the H.L. Turner Group and South Shore Gunite Pools & Spas to renovate the pool at Merrill Park. Construction officially started this week to fully replace the existing pool structure to address aging sections and offer improvements for ADA accessibility, increased safety, improved efficiency, and enhanced visual appeal. This is the fourth pool recently renovated as part of a multi-year commitment to upgrade all of the City of Concord’s community pools. Similar to the previous pools already renovated, this construction will include: a “zero-entry” access; improved deck floor traction and drainage to reduce slips, trips, and falls; and new exciting features such as a beach style ramp with gusher jets. Public Properties staff will enhance the facility’s appeal with fresh paint, new bathroom fixtures, and updated signs. Additionally, new lighting and water filtration media will be installed to improve energy efficiency. Most of the work will be concluded for the season by mid-October with final touches resuming in the spring for completion in June ahead of the 2021 pool season.
Census deadline reminder
The 2020 Census is closing on Sept. 30, 2020. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.