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:
All city of Concord offices will be closing early at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Trash and recycling collection will be postponed on Thursday to Friday. Friday’s collection will occur on Saturday. The Concord Transfer Station will be closed on Thursday as well. Bulk leaf collection will not take place on Thanksgiving Day or Friday but will resume on Monday, weather permitting.
Christmas tree lighting
Concord’s 28th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will be held at the State House Plaza, North Main Street, on Friday, Nov. 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Main Street will be closed, between Centre Street and School Street, from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Masks are strongly encouraged, as well as social distancing while enjoying this event to keep everyone safe.
I-COVID Screening kiosks
New screening kiosks have been installed at the City Wide Community Center and at the Green Street Community Center. This is the same brand of kiosk that has been used at the Everett Arena for several weeks. These kiosks use touchless mobile technology to guide guests through a COVID-19 risk assessment. The new screening process includes scanning a QR code 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.
The last Hands-Only CPR and Naloxone training of 2020 will be held Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Concord Fire Department’s Training Grounds. These trainings are being held with safety measures in place (masks, social distancing, small group size). Call 225-8560 for more information and to sign up. You will learn why and how to adminster naloxone (Narcan) and how to perform CPR to a person in cardiac arrest.
Public ice skating is taking place at the Douglas N. Everett Arena Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays 5:30 p.m. to 7 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. Adult Stick Practice (ages 14 and up) hours are 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 November 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.
Masks or facial coverings are required inside of the arena and while on the ice during public ice skating. Masks are recommended while on the ice during stick practice and hockey, but are not required when actively engaged in athletics. Skate rentals will continue to be thoroughly disinfected after each use. Other COVID-19 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. 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.
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 if needed for contact tracing. 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.
Find full COVID-19 guidelines and more information about programs at the Everett Arena at concordnh.gov/arena.
Fall Leaf collection
Bulk leaf collection continues as weather permits through Dec. 11, focusing on residential areas within the city’s drainage system. Please note bulk leaf collection will not take place on Thanksgiving Day or Friday but will resume on Monday, weather permitting. Bagged collection starts on Nov. 23 and will continue for three weeks for residents with curbside trash collection.
Important COVID-19 Program Change
In order for our crews to practice safe social distancing, leaf vacuums are not being used for bulk leaf collection. Instead, crews are using leaf loaders. This means that bulk collection requires all leaves to be raked fully into the street along the edge of the road or sidewalk to be reachable for collection. Please avoid piling leaves and keep leaves tight along the curb to keep streets clear. Watch a video demonstration to see where to place leaves and how bulk collection will work this year. Avoid on-street parking Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. until collection is finished to not block access to leaves.
Bulk Leaf Collection (Nov. 2 to Dec. 11, weather permitting): Three crews from Concord General Services’ Highway and Utilities Division will continue to collect leaves from different areas of the city. View the Fall Leaf Collection Crew Sector Map to see a city-wide map of where crews plan to collect for bulk collection, focusing on the City’s drainage system. View the Fall Leaf Collection Map to see where crews have finished collecting. Please note that the map is not available in real-time and only displays roads completed by the end of the business day. Bulk collection is dependent upon the weather and will continue as possible through Dec. 11. There is no set schedule for leaf collection due to unpredictable weather conditions and leaf volumes. It is not possible to predict when crews will reach certain areas. It’s important to have leaves ready at the curb to not miss collection. Crews can only come by locations once and will not be able to return to areas already collected. Residents are encouraged to have leaves ready by the start of collection, but to also be prepared for weather. Snow could possibly suspend collection, so residents should be prepared. Residents are encouraged to participate in the bagged collection program to guarantee collection (especially as the weather changes). Be proactive and bag leaves ahead of anticipated snow storms!
Bagged Leaf Collection (Nov. 23 to Dec. 11): Bagged leaf collection is returning for its third year this Nov. 23 for residents with curbside trash collection. It will continue for three weeks through Dec. 11. The bagged program has been well received by residents that elect to participate in the program. The program provides an alternative method for residents to dispose of leaves, while providing more predictability with a guaranteed weekly collection. Bagged collection is not weather dependent, unlike bulk leaf collection. Leaves must be placed in biodegradable yard waste bags and/or labeled rigid containers such as trash barrels. Leaves must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. each Monday (Nov. 23, Nov. 30, and Dec. 7) during bagged collection, regardless of your trash collection day. Bagged collection will not necessarily coincide with trash collection like it does in the spring due to variable leaf volumes at the curb. Leaves will be collected by the City’s solid waste contractor, Casella, and will be collected separately from trash and recycling. Although bagged collection is not weather dependent, be mindful of the weather and bag leaves early if necessary to avoid snow cover.
Alternative Options: An eco-friendly alternative is to mulch the leaves into your lawn by running over leaves with a lawn mower or mulching blade. Residents also have the option to bring leaves to a local accepting farm or Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center for free with proof of residency if the load is smaller than a non-commercial pick-up truck. Brush, branches, and limbs are not acceptable materials for the City’s leaf collection, but can be dropped off separately at Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center for a nominal fee. Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center is located at 10 Intervale Road, off Fort Eddy Road, and is open 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours will be available from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 21 and Dec. 5. No Saturday hours on Nov. 28 due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Hours are weather permitting and should be confirmed by calling them ahead of drop off.
Program Questions & Concerns: We realize bulk leaf collection faces some challenges, including: collecting leaves too early from an area before all the leaves have fallen, having to suspend collection before reaching all residents due to the onset of winter weather, and the uncertainty of when collection will occur due to unpredictable leaf volumes and weather conditions. However, we know bulk collection provides convenience and is an appreciated program. Adding the bagged collection in 2018 added an additional service to address the challenges of bulk collection while providing more predictability and opportunity for residents to participate in leaf collection. Starting in 2019 crews in the south end joined the east side crew and Penacook crew in rotating their starting location each year for bulk collection. Now all three crews alternate where they start collecting leaves each year in order to provide a more fair collection for residents. If you have any questions or concerns, we ask you to please view our updated FAQs.
Please visit concordnh.gov/leafcollection for more program information and detailed maps.
As of Nov. 19, drought conditions remain mostly in extreme drought conditions with a small northwest portion of Concord in severe conditions. The precipitation deficit is 11.31 inches below average for this time of year. More rain is desperately needed to minimize conditions. There appears to be a chance for some possible rain next week and the National Weather Service predicts a normal probability for precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days. Fortunately, Concord’s water consumption continues to decrease. The City’s water production last week was a daily average of 3.313 MGD (million gallons per day). Please continue to use water wisely. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored closely. Low-income residential well owners may qualify for assistance with the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission if they are experiencing drought-related loss of a safe, reliable source of drinking water at their primary residence. Short-term relief is available through the Drought Assistance Program for bottled water and financial assistance for activities associated with replacing or improving a homeowner’s well or connecting to an available community water supply. We thank everyone for their efforts to conserve water. Every drop counts! Find drought updates and water conservation tips at concordnh.gov/conservation.