City news: Enjoy biking around capital

Merrill Park pool renovation continues.
Merrill Park pool renovation continues.

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:

City news and projects

Face covering ordinance: The City of Concord’s face coverings ordinance expired on June 1, 2021. City Council encourages anyone eligible to get vaccinated and to continue to follow the recommendations set forth by the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19. Information about vaccines is available through 211. If you are already fully vaccinated, the CDC also has updated guidance online.

Memorial Day: Trash, recycling, and leaf collection on Monday was postponed to Tuesday. Collection for the rest of the week will be delayed by one day through Saturday.

Meetings

Zoning board of adjustment: June 2, 7 p.m.

Finance committee meetings: June 3, 5:30 p.m., FY 2022 Budget Review: Special Revenue Funds (Project Inspection, Parking, Airport, Conservation Property, Golf Course, Arena, Solid Waste) and Enterprise Funds (Water, Wastewater), Public Hearings; June 7, 5;30 p.m., FY 2022 Budget Review: Committee Work Session, Public Hearings, and Public Hearing Action (Tentative Budget Adoption)

City Council: June 14, 7 p.m.

Planning board: June 16, 7 p.m.

Budget documents are available on the City of Concord website.

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.

Parking garage closure: The School Street Garage will be closed June 11, 12, & 13 for the reorganization of lease, permit, and metered parking spaces, prior to pressure washing.

Big Guns Pressure Washing will be pressure washing the City’s parking garages during the following weekends in June – Storrs Street: June 4, 5, and 6, School Street: June 11, 12, and 13, and State Street: June 25, 26, 27. Pressure washing will occur from Friday night to Monday morning. Each garage will be closed to the public overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on these days. Daytime parking will be permitted. All vehicles must vacate the premises by 7 p.m.

City assessment: 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 ongoing 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 assessing@concordnh.gov.

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.

Water main work: The contractor will be repairing/replacing sewer and drain services on both Joffre and Wiggin Streets. Water services on both Joffre and Wiggin Streets will start to be connected to the new water main. This connection will require access to the homes by the contractor. Water service will be disrupted for 20-30 minutes as the new service is connected. Residents may want to run their cold water for a few minutes once reconnected to the new main if any discolored water is observed. This is not unusual and will clear up quickly.

Concord General Services

Everett Arena: Some shows are lined up to take place at the Douglas N. Everett Arena over the next few months and roller skating will be returning on June 9. 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.

Merrill Pool: 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, work has resumed. Pool walls have been tiled, concrete decks have been poured, the interior of the bathrooms have been painted, and preparation started this week for plastering the pool next week, including installing the plumbing and drain faceplates. The pool will be filled with water upon completion of plastering. The last step will be installing the pool deck equipment and completing a final inspection and clean-up. Construction is anticipated for completion in mid-June ahead of pool season. Visit concordnh.gov/publicproperties for more information.

Long Line Road Striping: The City’s contractor, K5 Corporation, continues to complete long line striping throughout the city. Work includes the painting of white fog and skip 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.

Paving: GMI Asphalt will resume some clean-up work next week. Work is anticipated to begin sometime in July for Chase Street, Joffre Street, and Wiggin Street and around September for Clinton Street (from Princeton St. to S. Spring St.). 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.

Leaf collection: 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. The last day for collection will be June 5. 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. Find more information about spring leaf collection at http://www.concordnh.gov/leafcollection.

Drought conditions: As of May 27, drought conditions have intensified across the state. Last week 46.33% of New Hampshire was not experiencing any drought conditions, while this week that number has dropped down to only 8.86%. Currently, 83.92% of New Hampshire (including Concord) is now facing abnormally dry conditions and 7.22% is experiencing moderate drought.

More precipitation is desperately needed. The precipitation deficit for Concord continues to grow and is currently 5.04 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. A lot more rain is needed to help make a difference in drought conditions.

Water consumption was much higher than average last summer and consumption is trending high again this year. Concord’s Water Treatment Facility has been producing 5.8MGD – 6.0MGD (millions of gallons per day) of water for about a week now. This is above average for this time of year, which is typically closer to 5.0MGD. Increased water use is linked with the return of irrigation and outdoor water use, with higher than average volumes due to dry conditions driven by the drought.

Find drought updates and water conservation tips at concordnh.gov/conservation.

Parks & Recreation

Swim lessons: Swim lesson registration began June 1 at 9 a.m. In order to register for your free lesson, you must make an in-person appointment. Please call the Parks & Recreation office at 225-8690 to schedule your appointment. Concord/Penacook residents are eligible for one free lesson per child (while space is available) thanks to the generous donation from Concord Housing + Redevelopment. Be sure to register early! Regular swim lesson registration will be available online after June 1.

Bike Fix-it Stations: The Parks and Recreation Department installed the first of three bike fixit stations donated by the Central NH Bike Coalition. Each bike stand has a variety of built in tools and a QR code to access instructions on fixing the most common issues with bicycles. The installed unit is located at the City Wide Community Center. Over the next week, we will install one at Terrill Park near the start of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail and another at Kimball Park near the Concord Boys and Girls Club.

Football clinic: 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 patriotsalumni.com/ffy/concord-nh/.

Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail

Join Tim Blagden on a virtual tour of a 2.5-mile segment of the Concord – Lake Sunapee Rail Trail that runs from Fisherville Road to Carter Hill Road in Concord. The video, produced by Concord TV, can be found at youtube.com/watch?v=xaWs65bW2t0. It shows you where to park, trail amenities, and future plans for the trail.

The parking area at 25 Fisherville Road holds seven cars. The goal is to connect from the Pierce Manse in Concord to Newbury Harbor.

The trailhead is also home to one of the new Fix-It stations.

Visit concordlakesunapeerailtrail.com for more information.

Concord Public Library

As of June 1, Concord Library hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Heights Branch will be open Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Author: Insider Staff

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