City newsletter: Municipal offices closed for the holidays

Parks employees work on the ice in January 2020.
Parks employees work on the ice in January 2020.
Parks employees work on the ice in January 2020.
Parks employees work on the ice in January 2020.
The city of Concord plows the streets during the Dec. 17, 2020.
The city of Concord plows the streets during the Dec. 17, 2020.

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:

Holiday closings and reminders

City offices will be closing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24 through Friday, Dec. 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. City offices will be closing at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, through Friday, Jan. 1, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. Trash pick up will be delayed by one day on Christmas and New Year’s Day, and by one day the rest of these holiday weeks.

Hooksett Turnpike Bridge work

The replacement of this bridge began last week with the contractor, E.D. Swett, Inc., mobilizing on site. The bridge will be closed 24 hours/day to through traffic beginning Monday, Dec. 21 through May 2021. Emergency vehicles and snowmobiles will not be able to pass. Motorists will need to use Birchdale Road as a detour. This project is funded through the State of New Hampshire Bridge Aid Program at 80% state funding and 20% city funding. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Winter recreation

It has been a cold week, however please be aware local ponds are not safe to be on. We have placed the “no skating” signs around at the ponds at White Park Pond and Beaver Meadow Golf Course. Please stay off the ice until we open the ponds. We open the ponds for ice skating when there is 5 inches of ice measured in 6 different areas.

Please follow the Parks and Recreation Department Facebook page for updates on conditions. There is also more information online regarding location of ice skating areas, rules and cross country ski trail map at concordnh.gov/1410/Winter-Activities.

Snow groomer fundraising effort

The City of Concord Parks and Recreation Department is excited to announce our new fundraising effort to enhance community cross-country skiing at Beaver Meadow Golf Course.

The City of Concord Parks & Recreation Department was approached by the cross-country skiing community about working together to develop a plan to improve conditions, extend the season and increase the use of the cross-country ski trails at Beaver Meadow Golf Course. The group proposed a 3-phase plan of which the City of Concord has agreed to move forward with phase 1 – purchase a tracked grooming machine. The full plan can be viewed on the Concord Parks and Recreation website.

Phase I will use a combination of City and private funds to purchase a tracked grooming machine. City funds currently designated for the replacement of snowmobile and tow-behind groomer (approx. $50,000) will be put toward the purchase of the groomer. The remainder of the funds (approximately $100,000) would be sought from private donors with an interest in strong community recreational development opportunities.

In Concord, good snow conditions are available for skiing but we also have snow that is difficult to ski on or changes into difficult snow conditions. When this happens, interest wanes, skiers become frustrated, and safety is compromised. Snowmobile grooming can help but is minimally effective when snow becomes icy or needs to be moved around to cover thin-snow areas.

Modern groomers with tracks, a front blade, and a rear power tiller, can create great snow conditions nearly all of the time. Recently, smaller, more affordable versions of the ones used at down-hill ski areas, are being produced.

The purchase of a new groomer with enhance the experience for many users. Beaver Meadow is consistently used by the following groups: the Concord Nordic Bill Koch Youth Ski League, Concord High School Nordic; as well as local citizens of all ages, including families, who ski throughout the day when conditions are favorable.

The fundraising efforts for the new groomer will begin in early January 2021. Please visit concordparksandrec.com or call 225-8690 to learn how you can get involved.

Library book bin and contest

Through Jan. 9 all ages are invited to be entered into a contest for a prize for taking a selfie with the new book bin for library returns. Send a photo of yourself with the book bin to be entered to win a Kindle. One entrance per person. Prizes will go to one adult and one child. You must have a valid library card. Email your photo to library@concordnh.gov or tag the library on Facebook.

Library moves to curbside only

As of Dec. 21, the Concord Public Library will be retuning to curbside services only. Returns can be made 24/7 at the new book bin outdoors, overdue fines will be waived. Online resources are always available. Curbside pickup is available by appointment. Place items on hold with yoru library card and pick them up when ready. Hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.

For questions or assistance, you can contact library staff through their live chat at https://library3lp.com/chat/concord-pl-queue@chat.libraryh3lp.com?skin=31263, by telephone at 225-8670 or by email at library@concordnh.gov. For the latest updates, visit concordpubliclibrary.net.

Christmas Tree collection

Christmas tree collection starts on Monday, Jan., 4 and will continue for two weeks in coordination with residential curbside trash and recycling collection. Residents can place Christmas trees curbside for disposal on their trash collection day through Jan. 15. Trees must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. next to trash and recycling. All lights, ornaments, tinsel, and decorations must be removed from the tree. Wreaths and artificial trees will not be collected. Please note that trees will be collected in a separate truck from trash and recycling. Trees can also be taken to the Transfer Station at 77 Old Turnpike Road during the month of January.

Heritage group seeks artifacts and documents

The City of Concord Heritage Commission is in the process of locating and documenting our many monuments, granite markers and historic artifacts. We are fortunate to live in a community that has provided the residents with a history dating back centuries. As the years have progressed some of our city treasures have been removed, relocated or placed in storage at various locations around our city. If you are aware of any monuments, granite markers or historic artifacts relating to our past please contact Jim Spain, Heritage Commission, City of Concord, at wjspain@comcast.net.

Winter operations

The snow has arrived and the City of Concord has already issued two winter parking bans so far this season. Sign up for winter parking ban email notifications at concordnh.gov/notifyme. Sign up for both Winter Storm Event Parking Bans and Winter Maintenance Parking Bans to get alerted for both city-wide and downtown bans. Winter parking bans require all vehicles to be removed from indicated streets between midnight and 7 a.m. for snow removal operations.

Free parking is available in the City garages on weekends, observed holidays, and Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. for permit/lease spaces (marked with signage) and until 9 a.m. for metered spaces. Penacook residents may park at the Canal Street Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Village Street and Canal Street near Chief’s Restaurant. Although this lot is posted for no overnight parking, the City’s Parking Division will suspend this regulation during city-wide winter parking bans to accommodate Penacook residents. Residents should only park in the public spaces on the south side of the lot along Canal Street.

Concord General Services works as quickly and efficiently as possible to plow the 220 center line miles (440 lane miles) of streets and 90 miles of sidewalks throughout the city on a priority level basis. Plows require a lot of space on the road, which can make plowing difficult if cars are parked on the street, especially on narrow streets. Cars parked in tight areas or on narrow streets can block plows from fitting through the street. We appreciate the community’s cooperation to park off-street, even when a parking ban is not issued, to allow crews to plow more efficiently and restore safe road conditions. Visit concordnh.gov/winteroperations for more information about the City’s winter operations.

Everett Arena

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. Additional skating hours will occur Dec. 28 through Jan. 1 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate for the winter/holiday break of local schools. The arena will be closed on Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas Day, will be closing early at 3 p.m. on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve), but will be open on Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day. 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. Helmet and gloves are required. Admission for adult 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.

Drought conditions

As of Dec. 17, Concord remains in a severe drought with a small northwest portion in moderate drought. Conditions across the state have changed slightly for some areas, either worsening or improving, while the majority remains unchanged from last week. The current precipitation deficit for Concord is 9.48 inches below average for this time of year. The National Weather Service predicts a 40-50% probability for above-normal precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days. Concord’s water consumption continues to remain low, which is consistent for this time of year. Please continue to use water wisely. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored. Low-income residential well owners may qualify for assistance with the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) 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.

Hospitality employee relief fund

The New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund was launched by the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association  and the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation to support employees of the hospitality industry who have been impacted by COVID-19.

As the industry begins to move forward from COVID-19, the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund will continue to accept donations as well as award funding to hospitality employees in need. Funds may be issued to industry employees impacted by other factors, including but not limited to, catastrophic illness, unexpected disasters, and possible future shutdowns.

The New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation is the sole owner of the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. As the philanthropic foundation of the NHLRA, the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation enhances the industry’s service to the public through education, promotion of career opportunities, and community engagement.

For more information, visit nhlra.com/new-hampshire-hospitality-employee-relief-fund.html.

Author: Insider Staff

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