City newsletter: Be cautious with water usage

Art hangs on the wall at the gallery space at the City-Wide Community Center.
Art hangs on the wall at the gallery space at the City-Wide Community Center.
Finish pavement and shoulder gravel were completed on Penacook Street, Bishopsgate, Perkins Street, Martin Street, Knoll Street and Wyman Street last week.
Finish pavement and shoulder gravel were completed on Penacook Street, Bishopsgate, Perkins Street, Martin Street, Knoll Street and Wyman Street last week.

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:

Drought conditions

As of May 6, recent rain made minor drought improvements to southern areas of the state. All of New Hampshire continues to experience drought conditions, with 67.12% being abnormally dry and 32.88% being in a moderate drought. This is an improvement of 9.66% from last week. However, conditions for Concord remain unchanged with southwestern parts experiencing moderate drought and the rest of the city facing abnormally dry conditions.

The precipitation deficit for Concord is currently 3.00 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. Much more rain is needed to help make a difference in drought conditions.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is recommending for outdoor water use restrictions to be implemented for community water systems and municipalities across New Hampshire. At this time, Concord is not implementing watering restrictions as our water supply remains healthy and water consumption is average for this time of year. It is possible restrictions may be implemented if drought conditions continue to worsen and if water consumption gets too high. Last summer water consumption was much higher than average, so let’s please be careful going into this season. Please be mindful of irrigation and outdoor water use since that is where consumption increases around this time of year.

Drought conditions will continue to be monitored. Please continue to use water wisely. We thank everyone for their efforts to conserve water. Every drop counts! Find drought updates and water conservation tips at http://www.concordnh.gov/conservation.

Meeting

The planning board will meet May 19 at 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 concordnh.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. View the City of Concord calendar for more meetings and event listings.

Ward 4 special election

A special election to fill the current Ward Four City Council vacancy will be held on July 13, 2021. Candidates wishing to file by petition may do so through May 14. The filing fee to run for the vacant Ward Four City Council seat is $5.

The term for this Ward Four Council seat will expire on Dec. 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.

City pools

Five pools will open this summer for the community’s enjoyment. Pool guidelines and procedures will be released after June 1 based on the State of NH’s COVID guidelines.

After careful consideration, we have made the very difficult decision not to open two of the City’s seven outdoor pools this summer. This decision was based on not being able to hire enough lifeguards within the accelerated timeline and training schedule, coupled with our inability to follow the updated COVID State guidelines based on the space requirements. Our hiring cutoff date was also much earlier this year to allow employees to complete all of their necessary requirements in time for pool openings.

The Garrison and White Park pools will not open this summer. Garrison Pool was chosen because it has the lowest overall attendance annually. White Park Pool was chosen because it has the smallest pool deck out of all seven pools. The pool deck at White Park does not allow us to follow the new State of NH COVID guidelines for pools. Best practice is to maintain six feet from others when on the pool deck or in the water. However, from the White Park fence to the pool edge is about seven feet.

Despite this news, we are looking forward to operating the five remaining pools this summer and giving the community some sense of normalcy.

Parks and Rec

Concord Parks & Rec’s Summer/Fall Brochure is out now! View the brochure at rec.concordnh.gov/recreation/flipbook/index.html

Merrill Pool renovation

With the arrival of spring, the pool renovation at Merrill Park has resumed. 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 originally started in September with a majority of work on the pool structure completed. Pool walls have recently been tiled and work will soon begin on forming the deck and deck drains. After, deck slabs will be poured and then the pool will be plastered before filling the pool with water. Construction is anticipated for completion in June. Visit http://www.concordnh.gov/publicproperties for more information.

Building Safety Month

The month of May is recognized nationally as Building Safety Month. The theme this year is “Prevent. Prepare. Protect. Building Codes Save.”

The Code Administration office would like to recognize that Building safety is designed to help individuals, families, and businesses understand the importance of safe and sustainable structures in our community while highlighting the important role that building safety plays in maintaining public safety. Communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events, and structural collapses.

The Community Development Department, along with the Fire Department, continues to keep the public safe by ensuring all applicable national, state, and local building codes and ordinances are being followed. New construction, additions, renovations, remodeling, and changes of existing use of residential and commercial projects are all inspected by City of Concord inspectors who work to ensure safe quality housing and business spaces for the residents and visitors of Concord.

For one and two family buildings, life safety focuses on, but is not limited to, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, emergency escapes from bedrooms, handrails on stairs, protecting potable water supplies, electrical / mechanical installations, and pool safety.

For other buildings such as apartment buildings, commercial buildings, schools, restaurants, and hospitals, the focus on safety is a bit different. Safety in these buildings focuses on the means of egress out of the building, sprinkler systems, kitchen hood fire suppression, fire alarm systems, fire resistive rated walls and floor/ceiling assemblies, and fire rated stairwells with automatic closing doors as well as the trade inspections.

Helping property owners and tradespeople work through the permit process can be challenging, but also rewarding. The process includes initial consultations, review of the application and plans, coordinating with other departments, inspections, and ultimately a Certificate of Occupancy.

New gallery space

Concord Parks & Recreation is excited to announce we have added a community art gallery to the City Wide Community Center. The gallery is located in the south hallway outside of the gymnasium. This space will be designated to display art from local artists. If you are interested in displaying your art, please contact Laura Bryant at lbryant@concordnh.gov or at (603) 225-8690.

Washington Street Bridge

The Washington Street Bridge will be closed during the day while the contractor is actively working. This closure began on May 3. 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. We thank you for your patience while we complete this important project.

Birchdale Road Bridge

On May 14, ED Swett will set up the electronic message boards to alert motorists that Birchdale Road will be closed starting May 24 until mid-November 2021 to begin the bridge replacement project. Public notices were sent out to Birchdale Road residents on May 3. Bow Town Officials and local school bus transportation officials have been notified. Emergency vehicles, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists will not be able to pass. Please follow the detour plan below. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Dog licenses

Staff within the City Clerk’s Office want to remind resident dog owners that the deadline to license dogs, in accordance with State of New Hampshire RSA 466:1, was April 30, 2021. Owners who license a dog after May 31 are subject to additional fees.

Residents may renew their dog licenses in person in the Clerk’s Office, by mail or through the city’s online bill pay module on the City’s website.

Licenses may only be issued if we have current rabies information on file. Feel free to e-mail the Clerk’s Office at cityclerk@concordnh.gov or call them at 225-8500 if you are unsure as to whether or not we have current rabies information on file.

Fees:

Non-spayed or Non-neutered $10.00

Spayed or Neutered $ 7.50

Dogs under 8 months old $ 7.50

5 or more dogs of same owner $20.00

First dog for owner 65+ $2.00 (regular rate for any other dogs)

The City Clerk’s Office is located at 41 Green Street, Concord, NH. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Tax relief program

Property owners who owned and resided in their homes on April 1, 2020 may apply to the State of New Hampshire for relief of a portion of the state education property tax. There is no age requirement or asset limit for this program. A single person whose total household incomes was $20,000 or less in 2020 and married person or head of New Hampshire households with total household income of $40,000 or less in 2020 may apply.

Completed forms and documentation must be post marked no earlier than May 1, 2021 and no later than June 30, 2021 to the NH DRA, Taxpayer Services Division, PO Box 299, Concord, NH 03302-0299. Applicants will need a copy of their final 2020 tax bill, mailed out in November, and a copy of their 2020 federal tax return. If the property is in a trust, a copy of the entire trust document must be submitted. If you need a copy of your final 2020 tax bill, please contact Collections at 603-225-8540.

Questions about the program may be directed to the Revenue Administration at 603-230-5920; press prompt #2. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TDD Access: Relay NH at 1-800-735-2964.

Application for the State of New Hampshire’s Low-and Moderate-Income Homeowner’s Property Tax Relief program are available on the Department’s website at http://www.revenue.nh.gov/forms/low-moderate.htm. The forms may be obtained on the City of Concord’s website at http://www.concordnh.gov; on the Assessing Department page; the link is on the left side of the screen under the Low & Moderate Tax Relief. The forms are also available at the Assessing office, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Street paving

The City’s Neighborhood Street Paving Program continues. GMI Asphalt is the contractor for paving this year. Finish pavement and shoulder gravel were completed on Penacook Street, Bishopsgate, Perkins Street, Martin Street, Knoll Street and Wyman Street this week. Final cleanup will be completed on all of these streets next week.

GMI Asphalt raised manhole covers and finish paved the full length of the following shim/overlay streets this week as well: Allison Street, Cornell Street, Cypress Street, Dartmouth Street, Harvard Street, Morton Street, Princeton Street, Springfield Street, and Yale Street.

Covers have started to be raised and finish paving is scheduled for the following shim overlay streets for next week: N. Spring Street (full length), Noyes Street (full length), and Rumford Street (from Pleasant Street to Albin Street).

Work is weather permitting. Streets may be reduced to one lane or closed to through traffic. 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 http://www.concordnh.gov/pavingplan.

Overnight work has been completed 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.

Striping of these streets will soon be completed by the City’s contracted striper. This was scheduled to begin this week, but the weather did not cooperate, so hopefully next week this will take place.

Leaf collection begins

Spring Leaf Collection started last week and will continue for six weeks in coordination with trash collection through Saturday, June 5. The last week of collection will be delayed by one day with no trash or leaf collection on Monday, May 31 due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Concord residents with curbside trash collection can participate by placing leaves at the curb by 7 a.m. on their scheduled trash day. All leaves must be in biodegradable yard waste bags and/or rigid containers labeled for leaves.

Leaves raked loosely to the curb are only collected during the City’s Fall Leaf Collection. In the spring, leaves must be bagged or contained for easy pick-up with trash collection. Unacceptable materials will not be collected, including branches, brush, and the use of plastic bags.

Residents can also bring leaves to Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center at 10 Intervale Road (off of Fort Eddy Road). Drop-off is free with proof of residency for loads smaller than a non-commercial pick-up truck. Residents will be required to empty contents at the facility to confirm that loads are 100% free of any unacceptable materials. Any container used to transport leaves to must be taken back with the resident; bags are not required for drop-off. Hours for Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with additional hours from 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturdays during leaf collection. Saturday hours will occur through June 5, with the exception of Memorial Day weekend when the facility will be closed on May 29. Hours are weather dependent and are subject to change. It is advised to call the recycling center to confirm available drop-off times at 545-4835.

Find more information about spring leaf collection at concordnh.gov/ leafcollection.

Author: Insider Staff

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