City newsletter: Washington St. bridge work begins Monday

The Parks and Recreation Department added new signs around White and Merrill park ponds educating park users not to feed the ducks bread. Bread is not good for ducks, as it does not contain the right nutrition or calories.
The Parks and Recreation Department added new signs around White and Merrill park ponds educating park users not to feed the ducks bread. Bread is not good for ducks, as it does not contain the right nutrition or calories.
Students from the UNH School of Law celebrated Earth Day by volunteering their time to clean up White Park.
Students from the UNH School of Law celebrated Earth Day by volunteering their time to clean up White Park.
The Washington Street bridge will be closed during the day while the contractor is actively working beginning Monday.
The Washington Street bridge will be closed during the day while the contractor is actively working beginning Monday.

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:

Upcoming meetings

Zoning Board of Adjustment: May 5, 7 p.m.

City Council: May 10, 7 p.m.

These meetings are being held virtually via Zoom and are also live streamed via the City of Concord’s YouTube channel. Agendas and access information are available prior to the meetings via https://concordnh.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. View the City of Concord calendar for more meetings and event listings.

Washington Street bridge rehab

Work began on the Washington Street Bridge in March. The bridge will be closed during the day while the contractor is actively working beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021. The closure can be expected between 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., but may be shorter each day based on the contractor’s schedule. At some point in the coming weeks, the bridge will be closed completely until mid- to late-August, and there will be a follow-up advanced notice with more details.

During the closure, traffic traveling southbound on Washington Street will be detoured down Millstream Lane to Borough Road. Traffic traveling northbound on River Road /Washington Street will be detoured down Borough Road to Millstream Lane. Below is a plan showing the detour route, which will be designated with signage along the route.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Services Division at 225-8520.

Parks and Rec

Earth Day 2021: Students from the UNH School of Law celebrated Earth Day by volunteering their time to help clean up White Park. THANK YOU!

As part of a year long effort, the Parks and Recreation Department finished the City’s first pollinator garden. The new garden was designed by Beth Fenstermacher, Assistant City Planner. A pollinator garden is planted to provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects. Over the next six months, the Department will add pollinator gardens at Rollins, Keach and White Parks, as well as some wildflower areas in several locations.

Duck food: The department also added new signs around White and Merrill Park Ponds educating park users not to feed the ducks bread. Bread is not good for ducks, as it does not contain the right nutrition or calories. Bread can also cause nasty surface algae to form on our ponds. Ducks like: cut seedless grapes, chopped lettuce, birdseed, and corn.

Agility Equipment Installed at Terrill Park: We love working with our future leaders. A huge thank you to Elizabeth and Abby from Girl Scout Troop #10162. Over the past year, they raised more than $2,000 for agility equipment for our new Dog Park at Terrill Park. The equipment was installed last week. Job well done and thank you!

Story Walk at Keach Park: A big thank you to Jackson Weber for choosing to install a Story Walk at Keach Park for his Eagle Project! Stop by Keach Park to enjoy a walk and a story. The first story is the classic, Corduroy! The story walk begins at the parking lot adjacent to the City Wide Community Center and moves clockwise around the park.

Water main replacement

As part of Concord’s 2021 water main replacement project on Joffre and Wiggin Streets, the water main and services on Joffre and Wiggins Streets within the City right-of-way will be replaced this year. The water pipe work will begin on Monday May 3, followed by paving work in early July. During construction, the street will be closed to through traffic, and on-street parking will be restricted between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Access to residences and businesses within street closure areas will be maintained.

Face coverings ordinance in effect until June 1

The City of Concord face coverings ordinance will remain in effect through June 1 (vote by City Council at their January 2021 meeting).

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.

Facial coverings will still be required to enter City buildings. If you do not have one, one will be provided. City staff will be wearing facial coverings. Other protective measures include sneeze guards, hand sanitizer, social distancing, a limited number of people in the building, and increased sanitization in all facilities.

“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 5 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 physical distance of at least six feet from other individuals.

Members of the public utilizing City trails, sidewalks and other pedestrian public ways, or public recreational lands, are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained from other individuals, but not required.

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.

View our coronavirus page for more information: concordnh.gov/coronavirus.

Ward 4 special election

A special election to fill the current Ward Four City Council vacancy will be held on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Those wishing to file for office may do so at the City Clerk’s Office beginning on Friday, April 30 through Monday, May 10. The filing fee to run for the vacant Ward Four City Council seat is $5. Candidates wishing to file by petition may do so through Friday, May 14.

The term for this Ward Four Council seat will expire on December 31, 2021.

The City Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Please contact the City Clerk’s Office via email at cityclerk@concordnh.gov or by phone at 225-8500 with any questions. For additional election-related information, visit our Election web page at concordnh.gov/elections.

Everett Arena Show & Event Information

The Douglas N. Everett Arena has returned to concrete flooring for upcoming spring and summer events. Some shows are lined up to take place at the arena over the next few months and roller skating will be returning on June 8. Visit concordnh.gov/arenaevents for event information and to view upcoming events.

All shows and events will have a limited capacity. Masks or facial coverings are required at all times while inside the arena and outside if social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. An approved floor plan will be used to promote social distancing. The building will remain locked until 15 minutes before scheduled events. The riverside doors (on the left of the building) will be used as the new main entrance with the first set of doors and also as the exit with the second set of doors. All staff, promoters, vendors, and attendees shall attest to a COVID-19 screening.

All activities at the Everett Arena follow COVID-19 guidelines in accordance with the CDC, State of New Hampshire, and City of Concord. The Everett Arena has been exceeding all guidelines for cleaning and sanitization. Safety measures are in place for improved air quality with MERV 13 filtration and increased outdoor air ventilation. Sneeze guards are in place at the front desk/admission area and at the Pro Shop. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the facility.

Find full COVID-19 arena guidelines and more information at concordnh.gov/arena.

Hydrant flushing

Concord General Services’ water crew continues to flush hydrants throughout the city. For the next several weeks, three crews will be going out to different areas of the city to flush hydrants as part of required routine maintenance. Concord water customers may experience low water pressure or discolored water when hydrant flushing occurs in their area. If discoloration occurs, customers are advised to run their tap water on cold until the water runs clear. Customers are advised to avoid doing laundry during flushing times. Depending on the flushing location, flushing may start anywhere between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. and continue through 3 p.m. each week day. This annual practice removes any sediment from pipes in the water distribution system and helps to sustain Concord’s water quality and check water pressure of the area. Find out when flushing will occur in different areas of the city by viewing flushing schedules on the City’s website at concordnh.gov/springoperations.

Neighborhood street paving program

The City’s Neighborhood Street Paving Program continues. GMI Asphalt is the contractor for paving this year. Sidewalk work, raising of manholes and catch basin, driveway tie-ins, and loam and seed continues for Penacook Street, Bishopsgate Road, Perkins Street, Martin Street, Knoll Street, and Wyman Street. Final pavement overlay for these streets is scheduled for later next week.

Work is weather permitting. Streets will be closed to through traffic and parking will be prohibited between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Residents will have road access to their homes. Find more information and a tentative schedule of streets approved for paving at concordnh.gov/pavingplan.

Overnight work started this week on Main Street from Centre Street to Storrs Street, and on Loudon Road from Main Street to Fort Eddy Road and from the Everett Arena to Airport Road. GMI Asphalt completed cold planing these sections and some of the final overlay as well. Next week the traffic signal loops will be installed during the day with lane closures. Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. If they complete the loop installation next week final overlay of Loudon Road will be completed overnight the following week. Streets will be open to traffic through the work zone.

Also, Continental Paving has completed their work on Hall Street and Old Turnpike Road from Manchester Street to Spring Hill Avenue.

Striping of these streets will be completed by the City’s contracted striper which is tentatively scheduled to begin the week of May 2.

Use water wisely, drought conditions persist

As of April 22, drought conditions remain unchanged from last week despite recently receiving some much-needed rain. Conditions intensified across New England last week with moderate drought conditions expanding due to recent warm and dry weather. Above average temperatures mixed with below average precipitation has led to very low soil moisture, reduced streamflow, and declining groundwater. The entire state of New Hampshire is experiencing drought conditions, with 57.46% being abnormally dry and 42.54% being in a moderate drought. Drought conditions for Concord have been ongoing since May 2020 but have remained at abnormally dry conditions since January until last week when Southwestern parts of Concord started experiencing moderate drought conditions.

Concord received 0.52 inches of rain this week, putting the precipitation deficit now to 3.24 inches below average for this time of year. The National Weather Service predicts a 33-40% probability of above average precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days. More rain is needed to help make a difference in drought conditions.

More lifeguards needed

While the City of Concord Parks & Recreation Department is anxiously awaiting the official start of summer, the department is currently hiring staff, including lifeguards. Fifteen additional lifeguards are needed, so if you or someone you know is looking for an active, outdoor and flexible summer job, please apply online at concordnh.gov. The deadline for hiring staff is April 27. This early deadline is due to new training procedures in place for this summer. Lifeguards will be required to complete online courses and Zoom classes, as well as in-person trainings, resulting in less lead time. If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard and are not certified, do not worry. We will train anyone hired through our partnership with Swim NH. Once someone is hired on for summer 2021, we will guide staff through the certification process at no cost to the employee. COVID-19 related guidelines and more information about possible pool openings will be released later this spring. Concord Parks & Recreation will be asking for the community’s support more than ever to adhere to new rules. This will ensure the safety of all guests and staff. To view summer employment opportunities, visit concordnh.gov and click on the “Employment” button on the home page. For more information about City of Concord pools, please visit concordparksandrec.com or call 225-8690.

Author: Insider Staff

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