City news: Winter activities coming to a close

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:

New fire chief

Sean Brown will take over as Fire Chief effective Feb. 28. Fire Chief Guy Newbery retired on Feb. 27.

Brown has been with the Concord Fire Department since 1995, where he started as a Firefighter/EMT. In 2007, he was promoted to Fire Lieutenant. In 2011, he oversaw the Fire Prevention Bureau & Fire Alarm Division as Fire Marshal, a role he held until 2015. Brown became a Battalion Chief in 2015, leading and supervising fire, rescue, and EMS companies until he was promoted to his current role as Deputy Chief in 2018. As Deputy Chief, he has served as second in command for the department, overseeing all administrative and support services and serving as chief financial officer.

As a member of the National Urban Search & Rescue Response System through FEMA, Brown has been part of the Massachusetts Task Force 1 since 2000 and the Incident Support Team since 2010. These response teams have assisted with national disasters and national security events, providing members with valuable experience they can use in their daily professions.

“Sean has been an integral part of the Concord Fire Department for many years, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role,” said City Manager Tom Aspell. “The Fire Department has one of the most important roles in our community, and I know that Sean will lead with the same professionalism and dedication demonstrated during his career in Concord.”

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the incredible men and women of the Concord Fire Department. Through responses to fires, emergency medical calls, COVID vaccination deliveries, and many other public services, these individuals continue to demonstrate the value we provide to our community. I look forward to continuing to serve our great City as the Fire Chief,” said Brown.

Skating closed

The outdoor ice skating areas are closed for the year. The areas were open for 40 days this winter compared to 18 days last year. We hope everyone took the time to enjoy the skating areas this winter. Time to think spring!

Outdoor dining

During their February meeting, City Council approved the renewal of temporary expanded outdoor dining once again in the City of Concord. This temporary program is an effort by the Council to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local restaurants. The 2021 season will run from April 1 through Nov. 15.

The temporary program provides for the issuance of special permits for expanded outdoor dining to allow restaurants in the downtown to use areas of the public sidewalk, squares, and parking spaces in front of their businesses to accommodate customers’ tables and chairs.

Restaurants interested in participating should apply for an expanded outdoor dining permit through the Code Administration Office website.

For questions related to this program, contact Code Administration at 225-8580.

New city app

The City of Concord has partnered with SeeClickFix to implement a new citizen reporting platform and mobile app, making it easier than ever for the Concord community to report non-emergency quality-of-life concerns and service requests.

Residents and community members can now utilize the web portal on the City’s website or download the free MyConcordNH app to easily submit a request to the City of Concord. Requests can be made in a variety of categories such as potholes, missed trash collection, illegal dumping, parking concerns, and snow plowing, among others.

Create an account to get email updates regarding requests, to communicate with City users, and to view your request history and find activity updates.

The platform is simple and easy to use:

Select the Request Location

Choose a Request Category

Include a Photo (Optional)

Fill out the Form

Submit

Submissions will automatically be directed to appropriate Concord City staff, providing a faster and more direct way to connect with the City. The SeeClickFix platform also provides City staff with a centralized issue management system to manage issues from creation to resolution — engaging the community throughout the process.

The MyConcordNH mobile app is available for download on Android and iPhone. In addition to the reporting tool, the app includes several links to important City services and information. Email alerts and push notifications for City notices, such as winter parking bans, are also available on the app.

Concerns can also be reported through the online web portal by selecting the “Report a Concern” button on the City of Concord home page at concordnh.gov or directly at concordnh.gov/seeclickfix.

Art on Main

The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce invite professional sculptors to submit entries for a year-round, outdoor public art exhibit in the city’s historic downtown. Selected artists will receive a $500 stipend.

Art on Main, Concord’s Fourth Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, will run from June 2021 through May 2022. Professional sculptors age 18 years or older may submit up to two sculptures for consideration; each must be the property of the artist. The deadline for entries is March 31, 2021. Artists will be notified of their acceptance into the show by April 30, 2021. Installation dates are May 21 to June 8, 2021. All accepted entries must be transported by the artist and properly secured upon installation for the safety of visitors and the artwork itself. All of the artwork is for sale. The City of Concord takes a 30% commission for any sculptures sold to promote the visual arts.

New Hampshire’s state capital features an award-winning Main Street and a Destination Downtown that offers charming, tax-free local shops, restaurants with expanded outdoor dining in the summer months and ongoing cultural offerings that attract a high volume of visitors throughout the year. Selected Art on Main artists will receive excellent exposure to the public.

For more information about the City of Concord’s Fourth Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition or to submit work for consideration, please visit ConcordNHChamber.com/CreativeConcord. Additional questions should be directed to Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink at 224-2508 or tsink@concordnhchamber.com.

Merrimack Valley School District meeting

On Feb. 8, the Merrimack Valley School Board voted to retain the 2021 MVSD annual meeting date of March 5, 2021.

Official Ballot voting (moderator and school board positions) will take place on March 5, 2021 at Merrimack Valley High School, beginning at 11 a.m. with the polls closing at 7 p.m. For those who cannot vote in-person, the MVSD website (mvsdpride.org) has detailed information about absentee voting and how to obtain an application for an absentee ballot.

Following the Official Ballot voting, at 7 p.m. on March 5, 2021 the annual meeting will commence and the gathered legislative body (the voters) will have the opportunity to act on the proposed warrant. The MVSD website (mvsdpride.org) also has an abundance of information relative to the Annual Meeting – to include:

a link to detailed information about the health and safety measures that will be in place at the annual meeting (mvsdpride.org/2021-annual-meeting)

the 2021 MVSD Annual Meeting Warrant

a PDF copy of the 2021-2022 MVSD proposed budget along with a link to detailed information about the proposed budget (mvsdpride.org/school-board/2021-2022-mvsd-proposed-budget)

access to the 2021 MVSD Annual Report

a sample ballot

Parks and Rec Classes

The Parks & Recreation Department is more than youth and family programming. The department’s next session of adult classes begin in early March and registration is underway. Class offerings include numerous fitness classes like Tai Chi, Zumba Gold, Barre, Yoga, Yoga for MS, Zumba Toning, Buff Bones and more. Adult Enrichment classes include language, dog obedience classes, tennis and even bird watching. Due to COVID-19, all class sizes have been reduced and pre-registration is required. Information on how to register can be found in the new Spring Brochure available at concordparksandrec.org or by calling the office at 225-8690.

We have COVID-19 safety protocols in place for all participants, instructors, and coaches, as well as several virtual Zoom class options for anyone wanting to participate from home.

The spring brochure, available online, offers a variety of programming for children, adults, and seniors, with indoor and outdoor options. We have added several new classes, including Take and Make art activities. Other popular classes and activities like spring basketball, NFL Flag Football and soccer, dog obedience, language classes, fitness classes, and adult pickleball are also listed.

This brochure includes our ever-popular traditional summer camps as well. Reserve your child’s spot today and plan out your summer activities!

Please register for programs and/or summer camps as soon as possible, as we have reduced capacity for all classes/camps. For more information regarding programming and safety protocols, please visit concordparksandrec.com or call 225-8690 with any questions.

Senior meals available

Twice a month, frozen meals and breakfast bags will be available for seniors age 60+ to bring home. Orders must be placed one week in advance and a $2 per meal donation is requested. Contact Becky at 230-4982 or Rbukowski@ConcordNH.gov for details, a menu and an order form.

Searching for our past

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 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, NH, at wjspain@comcast.net.

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. 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.

Ice skating will end soon. The last Saturday session will be March 6. The last Sunday session will be March 7. The last weekday and season session will be March 18.

Please remember that ice skating is limited to less than 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. The arena does not take reservations. It is advised to arrive early.

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.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no visiting team spectators allowed for high school hockey games. Immediate family only allowed in the building for home team high school games. You can still stay connected to the Everett Arena from anywhere by watching events live and on demand with LiveBarn! Learn more at http://www.concordnh.gov/arenalivebarn.

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 screening kiosk has been installed that uses touchless mobile technology to guide guests through a COVID-19 risk assessment. The 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 update

As of Feb. 25, drought conditions for NH continue to remain unchanged. Abnormally dry conditions continue for Concord and 37.52% of the state. Moderate drought conditions remain for 14.93% of NH, while 47.55% of the state is not currently experiencing any drought conditions. The National Weather Service predicts a normal probability of above average 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.

Author: Insider Staff

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