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:
The City of Concord and The Caleb Group, a non-profit affordable housing organization based in Swampscott, Mass., are pleased to announce the completion and opening of Penacook Landing, Phase I at 33 Canal Street, Penacook. The site of the former Allied Leather Tannery property has been transformed into 34 apartments with landscaped grounds on the banks of the Contoocook River.
Penacook Landing is 25 one-bedroom and 9 two-bedroom apartments. There are two handicap-accessible apartments. The building has management and resident services offices, a community room and laundry facilities. As with all Caleb communities, a Service Coordinator is on staff to help connect residents to services in the larger community and foster a thriving supportive community within. Thirty-one of the apartments are affordable for households meeting income criterion as designated by US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Penacook Landing Phase I was made possible through a close partnership between the City of Concord and The Caleb Group, and with funds from the New Hampshire Finance Authority, the New Hampshire Community Development Block Grant program, Evernorth, and Genesis Community Loan Fund. Cheshire Builders, a Swanzey-based construction company, built the project.
The city has retained ownership of the remaining 1.5 acres of the site located adjacent to the Contoocook River for a future riverfront park.
Caleb plans to develop the second and final phase of the project with 20 additional units of housing in 2021, dependent upon funding.
“Quality, affordable housing is so important for the City of Concord, especially given the very tight rental housing market we have seen in recent years,” stated Mayor Jim Bouley. “The first phase of this project adds 34 much-needed housing units in Concord. It will grow the City’s tax base, and creates new opportunities for Penacook Village.”
“It is a pleasure to make new affordable housing available in Concord, especially during COVID. Many of the new residents of Penacook Landing have been struggling and stressed for a long time. Stable affordable housing will go a long way to helping them,” said Debra Nutter, President and CEO of The Caleb Group. “We are pleased to add Penacook Phase I to the City of Concord. We would like to thank all our partners for bringing Phase I to Move-In day.”
“Penacook Landing is exactly the kind of affordable rental housing that the Concord area and state so desperately need. By utilizing a blend of key federal financing programs offered by New Hampshire Housing – such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Home Investment Partnership, and Housing Trust Fund – the Caleb Group was able to build 34 new apartments in Penacook Village for residents with a range of incomes,” said Dean Christon, Executive Director of New Hampshire Housing.
“We’re thrilled to support this project – our first loan in New Hampshire – and The Caleb Group, a long-time partner of the Genesis Fund,” says Liza Fleming-Ives, Genesis Fund’s Executive Director. “One of our primary missions is to address the persistent need for quality affordable rental housing in Northern New England – a need that is especially critical right now, as our communities face the ongoing economic and health impacts of COVID-19. We’re so pleased to be able to commit our loan capital where it’s needed most, filling gaps in funding for projects like Penacook Landing – so that our neighbors, no matter what their income, have a safe and affordable place to call home.”
About the Former Allied Leather Tannery: Originally developed in 1846 for the production of sail cloth, the original facility on the site closed during the Great Depression. After the Depression, it reopened as the Allied Leather Tannery eventually becoming the largest tannery in New Hampshire before closing in 1987.
In 2001, the City condemned the 6 acres of the former Tannery site located in Concord and in 2003 embarked on an ambitious plan to acquire, cleanup, and redevelop those portions of the former Tannery in Concord. Ultimately the City would acquire all eight parcels, which comprised that portion of the Tannery complex in Concord.
The initial phase of redevelopment was completed in 2011 with the development of Penacook Family Physicians medical office building on a 2-acre site located at 4 Crescent Street. The project was achieved through a public/private partnership with DEW Crescent Properties LLC, Concord Hospital, and the City of Concord.
The City of Concord and Beaver Meadow Golf Course recently announced the following management changes at the golf course, effective Oct. 25, 2020.
Phil Davis has been named Director of Operations/Head Golf Pro, and Sid Chase has been named Course Facilities Manager.
Phil will be overseeing all golf operations, including the pro shop, oversight of the Course and Facilities Manager and his staff, managing the relationship with the restaurant, and any and all golf course-related issues.
Sid will be focusing on golf course maintenance and improvements so the golf course can continue to offer optimum conditions to members and guests.
The Douglas N. Everett Arena reopened on Oct. 30 to contracted hockey groups after a two-week suspension of all ice activities per advisement of the State of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 reopening task force. Public ice skating and stick practice will return on Nov. 2. New COVID-19 guidelines are in place for hockey, stick practice, and public skating.
The reopening task force published new guidelines on Oct. 24 for hockey and indoor ice arenas. The biggest update includes the requirement for all rink staff, volunteers, coaches/staff, referees, and athletes (youth and adult leagues) to be tested at least once for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 6, 2020. The test should be performed after the 2-week pause (Oct. 15) and can either be PCR or Antigen based (rapid test). Test results must be provided to the hockey program on or before Nov. 6 with a copy being kept by the program for 30 days. A person is exempt if they have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the three months prior to Oct. 15 with a virus-specific test used to diagnose active infection (PCR or antigen based test).
Further advisement from the State of New Hampshire’s Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 28 included testing requirements for all individuals who participated in activities on the ice prior to Oct. 15, which includes public ice skating and stick practice. A negative COVID-19 test is required on or before Nov. 6. The test should be performed after the 2-week pause (Oct. 15) and can either be PCR or Antigen based (rapid test). Any person, team, or program that starts an activity for the first time this year after Oct. 30 is not required to have COVID-19 testing.
The use of masks or facial coverings has already been a requirement at the Everett Arena when inside the building. However, a new requirement now includes the use of masks while on the ice during public ice skating. Masks are not required for stick practice or hockey while actively engaged in athletics on the ice, although it is recommended.
All Everett Arena visitors and staff will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening in the main entrance lobby. A new screening kiosk has been installed that uses touchless mobile technology to guide guests through a COVID-19 risk assessment. The new screening process includes scanning a QR code at the arena on your phone, filling out a quick questionnaire, and using a unique QR code that is then generated on your phone to scan at the kiosk to log your visit. The QR code is time sensitive and will expire after the end of the day. Once the code is scanned, visitors will use the hands free thermometer to scan their wrist or forehead for a temperature screening. Paper forms will be available as a backup if a visitor does not have access to a phone or if there are any issues with the kiosk.
Other guidelines at the arena remain in place, including one-way traffic throughout the facility and on the ice, only unlocking building doors 15 minutes prior to events, reducing public skating to 50% occupancy or less, and limiting spectating to immediate family only. Siblings must stay with a parent at all times or the group will be asked to leave.
There have not been any known COVID-19 cases linked to the Everett Arena. The Everett Arena has been exceeding all guidelines for cleaning and sanitization, has had extra precautions in place for increased air filtration, and continues to provide hand sanitizer throughout the facility.
Public ice skating hours will be reduced on Sundays to 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to allow extra time for cleaning between events. Skating hours remain unchanged for Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission is $6 for ages 14 and up and $5 for ages 13 and below. Skate rentals are available in the Pro Shop for $5. Skate rentals will continue to be thoroughly disinfected after each use.
Adult Stick Practice (ages 14 and up) hours will resume Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Additional hours are available Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. through Nov. 25. Helmet and gloves are required. Youth Stick Practice (ages 13 and below) hours are Fridays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. through November 27. Full equipment is required. Admission for adult and youth stick practice is $10.
Find full COVID-19 guidelines and more information about programs at the Everett Arena at concordnh.gov/arena.
Fall leaf collection
Concord Fall Leaf Collection will be returning on Nov. 2 with bulk leaf collection. Bulk collection will continue as weather permits through Dec. 11, focusing on residential areas within the City’s drainage system. Bagged collection will be returning on Nov. 23 and continue for three weeks for residents with curbside trash collection.
As of Oct. 29, drought conditions remain unchanged from last week. Concord continues to experience extreme drought conditions. Despite the recent rain, the precipitation deficit actually grew from last week from 9.52 inches to now 10.03 inches below average for this time of year. More rain is desperately needed to make even a dent in conditions. Rain does not appear to be in the upcoming forecast and the National Weather Service predicts a 33-40% below average probability for precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days.
Concord’s water consumption still continues to decrease. The City’s water production last week was a daily average of 3.73 millions of gallons per day, which is the average for this time of year. PContinue to use water wisely. Water conservation is still advised to maintain our water source and to keep the City’s water production within reasonable limits. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored closely. We thank everyone for their efforts to conserve water. Find drought updates and water conservation tips at concordnh.gov/conservation.
Merrill Pool renovation
The pool renovation continues at Merrill Park. Concord General Services’ Public Properties Division has been working with The H.L. Turner Group and South Shore Gunite Pools 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. Construction started on Sept. 21. The concrete pool floor was poured last week. Gunite has been applied this week to form the pool walls. The walls will take a few days to cure and then depending on the weather the next task to complete is to backfill and compact the dirt around the pool. Weather conditions will play a factor on if work can continue this season to then tile the pool walls and later pour the deck slabs, or if these tasks will need to wait until spring. Construction will be completed ahead of the 2021 pool season. Visit concordnh.gov/publicproperties for more information.
Restaurant grant program
The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce a limited grant program for Concord restaurants. Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded to restaurants to purchase materials that will help them increase their seating capacity.
According to Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink, “Concord restaurants have been hit hard by COVID-19, and they will no longer be able to continue outdoor dining beyond November 14, as the City will need to be prepared for sidewalk and street snow removal. These grants can be used to pay for dividers or other materials that will help restaurants increase their indoor seating capacity.”
The Concord City Council appropriated $15,000 for this grant program from funds that were initially allocated to the annual fireworks display, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Chamber will be responsible for administrating the grants. Funding is limited. Open to members and non-members.
To apply for a grant, Concord restaurants should fill out the online Concord Restaurant Grant Program submission form below. Approved grants will be paid on a reimbursement basis with invoice copies for documentation. The deadline to apply is November 20—restaurants are encouraged to apply early as funds are limited. Matching funds are encouraged but not required to apply.
Any questions can be directed to Tim Sink, Chamber president, at 224-2508 or via email.
Please fill out the online application form below. Matching funds are encouraged but not required to apply for the Concord Restaurant Grant Program. Approved grants will be paid based on a reimbursement basis. Restaurants must provide invoices as documentation for reimbursement.
For more information, visit concordnhchamber. com/ resources/concord-restaurant-grant-program.
Each year, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is a call to bring together individuals, organizations, industry, and state, tribal, and local governments to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness in an effort to reduce childhood exposure to lead.
The city has Lead Poisoning Prevention information at concordnh.gov/ 1742/Lead-Poisoning-Prevention.