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:
Finance Committee: May 20, 5:30 p.m., city manager’s fiscal year 2022 budget presentation; May 24, 5:30 p.m., fiscal year 2022 budget review: General Government (Administration), Public Safety, General Services; May 27, 5:30 p.m., fiscal year 2022 budget review: Community Development, Leisure Services, Human Services, Capital Improvement Program; June 3, 5:30 p.m., fiscal year 2022 budget review: Special Revenue Funds (Project Inspection, Parking, Airport, Conservation Property, Golf Course, Arena, Solid Waste) and Enterprise Funds (Water, Wastewater); June 7, 5;30 p.m., fiscal year 2022 budget review: Committee Work Session, Public Hearings, and Public Hearing Action (Tentative Budget Adoption)
Zoning Board of Adjustment: June 2, 7 p.m.
City Council: June 14, 7 p.m.
Planning Board: June 16, 7 p.m.
Note: Budget documents are available on the City of Concord website. Visit the Budget web page for more information. The City Manager’s Budget Presentation will be available online on May 20 prior to the presentation.
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 this link. View the City of Concord calendar for more meetings and event listings.
Pollinator Garden at Merrill park
As part of a year long effort, the Parks and Recreation Department recently finished the City’s first pollinator garden in Merrill Park. The new garden was designed by Beth Fenstermacher, Assistant City Planner. 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. Learn more at concordnh.gov/pollinatorgardens.
Storrs Street legislative parking garage work
The State of NH has a contractor team working on rehabilitating the deck of the Storrs Street Legislative Parking Garage. This work will involve lane closures and maintenance of one-way traffic underneath the garage at times as well as intermittent parking space and sidewalk closures. Work is expected to continue into mid-June.
Parks & Rec
Football For You Clinic with the New England Patriots: The Parks and Recreation Department is excited to welcome back the New England Patriots Alumni Club to Concord on June 4. This unique 2-hour, non-contact, coed, free clinic stresses leadership, teamwork, and commitment for young athletes (ages 9-14). Each participant will rotate through six 15 minute stations, which all represent a position on the field. Each clinic is coached by Patriot Alumni. Returning this year for parents and guardians are three optional 15-minute information sessions that will address sportsmanship and nutritional education. Space is limited and pre-registration is recommended at: https://patriotsalumni.com/ffy/concord-nh/.
City-wide assessment and surveys
The Assessing Department is conducting a city-wide reassessment to value properties at market value as of April 1, 2021. Last week, the department sent out letters and surveys to commercial and industrial property owners. Due to the on-going pandemic, for the second year, there are two surveys. One survey, which is sent yearly, requests information regarding the income and expenses pertaining to the real estate for the past year.
The second survey is included to gauge the impact of COVID-19 over the past year. The questionnaire asks about what changes may have or have occurred over the past year from March 2020 – April 1, 2021. The questions ask about rental payments, tenant openings or closings, modifications to mortgage payments and funds received from state and/or federal programs. Our hope is to gain a better understanding of what the impacts of COVID-19 have been over the past year.
Returning completed surveys will enable the Assessing Department to analyze the information to determine if any specific adjustments will be needed to values due to the impacts of COVID-19 for April 1, 2021. We hope that property owners who were sent the questionnaires will complete them and return to the Assessing Department by June 15. The information gathered is kept confidential and is not shared or made available to the public. Property owners’ cooperation will be pivotal in assisting the department in setting values for April 1, 2021.
If property owners have any questions regarding these surveys, they can call (603) 225-8550 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. or email email@example.com.
City pools info
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 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.
Please check concordparksandrec.com for more information.
Merrill Pool renovation
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 at Merrill Park to address aging concerns and make 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. With the return of spring, pool walls have been tiled and work has started on forming the deck and deck drains. Styrofoam was temporarily placed this week along the sides of the pool to be used to form the edges of the deck that will cantilever over the pool edge. Final grading and compacting were also completed this week before the concrete decks are poured next week. The pool is anticipated to be plastered the following week before being filled with water. Construction is anticipated for completion in June ahead of pool season. Visit concordnh.gov/publicproperties for more information.
May is 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.
Washington Street bridge rehab
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 reconstruction
Last Friday, ED Swett set up the electronic message boards to alert motorists that Birchdale Road will be closed starting Monday, May 24 until mid-November 2021 to begin the bridge replacement project. Public notices were sent out to Birchdale Road residents on May 3, 2021. 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.
Long Line Road Stripping
The City’s contractor, K5 Corporation, is scheduled to complete long line striping over the next couple of weeks throughout the city. Work will include the painting of roadway pavement markings, including white fog lines and double yellow lines. Striping will occur for recently paved roads, and restriping will be performed in other areas as needed to improve line visibility and increase driver safety. Work will be completed between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. nightly, weather depending.
Property 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. The forms may be obtained on the City of Concord’s website at 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.