City news: Drought conditions continue despite rain

Penacook Lake, the source of Concord's drinking water, is at a much lower level than usual in late September, 2016.
Penacook Lake, the source of Concord's drinking water, is at a much lower level than usual in late September, 2016.

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:

Use water wisely

As of July 8, drought conditions have not changed much from last week despite receiving heavy amounts of rain. Currently, 3.93% of the state is in a severe drought, 53.14% is in a moderate drought, 32.54% (including Concord) is abnormally dry, and 10.39% is not experiencing any drought.

Thankfully all of the recent rain did reduce the precipitation deficit. Precipitation levels are now 3.81 inches below average for this time of year, which is better than the deficit last week when levels were 6.3 inches below average. The National Weather Service predicts a 33-40% probability of above average precipitation for the region in the next 8 to 14 days. More rain is still needed.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is recommending for water systems to implement outdoor water use restrictions. Currently, 87 water systems in New Hampshire have restrictions in place. At this time, Concord is not implementing watering restrictions as our water supply remains healthy. It is possible restrictions may be implemented if drought conditions continue to worsen and if water consumption gets too high. Concord’s Water Treatment Facility was producing 5.8MGD – 6.0MGD (millions of gallons per day) last week and has had high consumption this season, but thankfully consumption decreased to 5.0 – 5.5MGD this week in response to less need for irrigation and outdoor water use with the recent rain.

Please use water wisely. We advise everyone to please conserve water as a proactive measure to preserve our water source. Be mindful of your water use, especially outdoors. Simple conservation practices include minimizing irrigation and lawn watering, and inspecting systems for water leaks. Practice watering at night or early morning to minimize evaporation and consider using weather-based irrigation controllers to avoid unnecessary watering if it rains.

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

New water rate structure

New water and sewer utility rate structures have been implemented as of July 1. In addition to water and sewer charges being calculated based on consumption, a fixed monthly charge will be applied both for water and sewer based on the meter size of each meter installed. Previously, a fixed water fee (availability charge) was applied and computed based upon the assessed value of a property. This practice will be discontinued. The new structure also eliminates the monthly minimum use charges. This structure change will impact customers differently, with increases for some and decreases for others. Overall, this structure change is revenue neutral for the City and will provide more stability into the future. Find more information and a brochure of rates and fees at concordnh.gov/utilitybilling.

City meetings

City meetings will be held in person in Council Chambers at 37 Green St. (unless otherwise specified on the city’s calendar). Upcoming meeting:

Planning Board: Wednesday, July 21, 7 p.m.

City Checklist purge

New Hampshire law requires that communities verify/purge their voter checklists every 10 years. In accordance with that law, any person currently on the City of Concord checklist who has not voted in the past four years will be removed from the checklist.

On June 17, the City Clerk’s Office sent postcard notices to approximately 8,000 people who haven’t voted in the City of Concord in the last four years. Notices were sent to the address on file for the given voter, the address provided when registering to vote. The postcard indicates that recipients will be removed from the City of Concord checklist unless they re-register to vote via the City Clerk’s Office, on or before July 29. It is possible that postcards will go to residences within the City addressed to people that haven’t lived at a given address in some time. If residents within the community receive a post card addressed to someone that does not reside at their address, the postcard may be disregarded; no further response is needed.

If someone is purged from the City’s checklist, they can easily re-register to vote at the polls on Election Day and/or at the Clerk’s Office whenever it is convenient for them, during normal business hours.

Anyone with questions about this checklist purge should contact the City Clerk’s Office by phone at 225-8500 or via email at cityclerk@concordnh.gov. 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.

Beaver Meadow Golf Course

Ski the Beav Kick Off Event: Come learn more about efforts to purchase a groomer for Beaver Meadow Golf Course (1 Beaver Meadow Drive, Concord) while enjoying food and live music. This event is in partnership with the Concord Parks & Rec Department. If you have questions, call 498-4844 or 568-0321 or email skithebeav603@gmail.com.

Everett Arena roller skating

There are just two weeks left of roller skating at the Everett Arena! Don’t miss this limited time event! Friday, July 30 will be the last skating event of the season. Skating hours are Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 with skate rentals available if needed for an additional $5 at the Pro Shop. Book a private roller skating event for a birthday party, field trip, or rainout event. Private events only cost $150 an hour and include skate rentals. Call 228-2784 or email everettarena@concordnh.gov if interested. Visit concordnh.gov/rollerskating for more information.

City Auditorium reopening soon

After being closed for many, many months during COVID, the Concord City Auditorium is reopening in mid-August and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back for performances and shows.

Here are some updated guidelines:

Attendees are asked to wear face coverings inside the Audi if they have not been fully vaccinated.

Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue.

Attendees will enter through the main entrance and exit via the lobby (one way in/one way out).

Attendees are asked to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more of physical separation between others when possible.

Attendees are asked to stay home if they are not feeling well or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Thank you in advance for helping us provide a safe and fun experience for renters, performers, and guests. More information about the Audi is available online at: concordnh.gov/722/Audi.

National Night Out on Aug. 3

The Concord Police Department is happy to announce that National Night Out is back this year on Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Rollins Park.

Bring the whole family down and be part of this community event. There is no cost to enter and food is only one dollar with the purchase of a ticket. Parking is also free at Rundlett Middle School with complimentary shuttle service to the park. This year’s festivities will include music, police and fire equipment, K9 demonstrations, touch-a-truck, and so much more.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Community Resources Unit at the Concord Police Department at 225-8600, ext. 3738. Updates will be shared online on the National Night Out page at concordpolice.com as well as on Facebook.

Bluegrass BBQ – July 24

The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness is holding their annual Bluegrass BBQ fundraiser on July 24 from 12 to 5 p.m. in White Park (rain date: July 25). This picnic-style event by the pond at White Park will feature a BBQ feast and live music, held outside with plenty of space for attendee chairs and picnic blankets. Visit their event website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Storrs Street Legislative Parking Garage work

The state has a contractor team working on rehabilitating the deck and supporting structure of the Storrs Street Legislative Parking Garage. This work will involve intermittent lane closures and maintenance of one-way traffic underneath the garage, as well as parking space and sidewalk closures. Work is expected to continue through July.

Washington Street bridge work

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. to 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.

Neighborhood paving program

GMI Asphalt is scheduled to complete a shim overlay for Chase Street in the next couple of weeks along with a cold plane overlay anticipated for a section of Shaker Road soon. A shim and overlay will be performed on Clinton Street from Princeton Street to South Spring Street around September.

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. Visit concordnh.gov/pavingplan for more information and to find a tentative paving schedule for next season.

Author: Insider Staff

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