City news: Keeping an eye on invasive plants

Concord Parks & Recreation announced that Keach Park pool will be open for an additional week on Aug. 13 through 19.
Concord Parks & Recreation announced that Keach Park pool will be open for an additional week on Aug. 13 through 19.
Participants gather for a photo at the Invasive Plant Workshop in Merrill Park.
Participants gather for a photo at the Invasive Plant Workshop in Merrill Park.

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:

Invasive Plant Workshop

Thank you to everyone who attended the Invasive Plant Workshop in Merrill Park. The City of Concord’s Park and Recreation Department, Planning Division, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Conservation Commission and the Merrimack River Watershed Council partnered to offer this event about invasive plants like Oriental bittersweet and how to properly remove them. Information was recorded and a video from Concord TV will be available soon.

City meetings

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

Planning Board: Aug. 17, 7 p.m.

Whitney Road intersection work

A new traffic pattern began Monday on Hoit Road as we enter into the final phase of the project. East and west bound traffic on Hoit Road will approach the Whitney Road/Old Boyce Road intersection in a single lane. The intersection will operate as a single-lane roundabout with all approaches entering the roundabout operating under a yield condition. This will allow the contractor to construct the approach islands to the roundabout and the concrete center island. The work zone will operate under this traffic pattern through the end of the month. Delays are expected and we recommend you seek alternative routes or approach the intersection slowly and with caution.

August group hike

Join Fran, vice chairperson of the trails subcommittee for a 3-mile loop on the Backloop Trails at Winant Park. The traisl have varying terrain with some steep slopes. Bring bug spray and water. All are welcome to join Saturday, Aug. 13, at 9:30 a.m. in the rear lot of the Unitarian Universalist parking lot at 274 Pleasant St. For questions, contact bfenstermacher@concordnh.gov.

New utility billing phone number

The phone number for water and sewer utility bill payments for the City of Concord has changed to 1-888-312-1873. This number is now active to accept bill payments by credit/debit card or by check. A nominal convenience fee will apply. Please call this number to make any future utility bill payments by phone. Please contact the Utility Billing Office at 603-225-8693 with any questions or concerns.

ARPA grant for wastewater project

The City of Concord has been awarded $760,000 by the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services for upgrades to the secondary clarifiers at the Hall Street Wastewater Treatment Facility. These grant funds are being provided through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) as a necessary investment in wastewater system improvements.

Work is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2023 to upgrade components to the three secondary clarifiers at the facility. Improvements will include new secondary clarifier suction pipe mechanisms with fabricated steel drives, a new bridge walkway for each clarifier, new weirs and scum baffles, new scum trough for each clarifier, new perimeter density current prevention baffles, new launder covers, and new scum hatches. These components are original parts from when the facility was built in 1979 and are due for replacement.

Total project costs are anticipated around $3,800,000. The ARPA grant will assist with these costs, while the cost difference will be sourced from local funding.

Secondary clarification is an important step in the wastewater treatment process as it provides necessary time for bacteria material to settle to the bottom of the tank and become separated from wastewater. These upgrades will improve system reliability and operations in maintaining sustainable resource recovery for public health and safety, with a safe return to our environment and protection of the water quality of the Merrimack River.

Pools update

Concord Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce that Keach Park pool will be open for an additional week on Aug. 13 through 19.

All other pools (Merrill, Rolfe, Rollins and Keach) will close Friday, Aug. 12 at 4 p.m. Keach Park pool will re-open on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 12:30 p.m. Public swim hours will be Saturday-Thursday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. and Friday 12:30 – 4 p.m.

Drought

Drought conditions intensified last week with severe drought expanding to now 13% of southern areas of the state. Moderate drought continues for Concord and 72% of the state, while 12.9% of northern areas are abnormally dry and 1.5% of northern areas are no longer experiencing dry conditions. Precipitation is below average for this time of year and more rain will be needed to improve conditions.

Water production at the City’s Water Treatment Facility has increased to 6.0 MGD (million gallons per day) with spikes in consumption now up to 6.5 MGD on hotter days due to increased irrigation and outdoor water use driven by drought conditions.

Some municipalities and community water systems are implementing voluntary or mandatory outdoor water use restrictions. Currently, there are no water restrictions in place for Concord as water supply levels at Penacook Lake remain decent (check concordnh.gov/conservation for updates). However, water conservation is strongly encouraged.

Please use water wisely. Be mindful of your water use, especially outdoors. Concord’s water supply is healthy, but we advise water customers to conserve use as a proactive measure to manage our water resource. Simple measures to take to conserve water 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 when it rains.

Street paving

The Neighborhood Street Paving Program continues with Continental Paving, Inc. as the City’s paving contractor for this year.

Finish paving has been completed on Pleasant Street from State St. to Spring St. and on South Street from Pleasant St. to Clinton St.

Sidewalk reconstruction continues on South State Street.

Sidewalks on both sides of Pleasant Street were removed last week from State St. to Odd Fellows Ave. The curb was re-set last week as well. The concrete sidewalks will be replaced on this section of Pleasant St. starting this week and will continue over the next two to three weeks.

Traffic signal replacement started last week at the intersection of Pleasant and State streets and continued through this week. Foundation work has been completed and a temporary signal set up will be in place until the mast arms can be delivered later this year or early next year.

This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change. Work is weather permitting. Streets may be reduced to one lane or closed to through traffic. Parking will be limited on these streets 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.

Concerts

A lineup of upcoming community concerts:

Ryan Williamson: Sunday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m. at Merrimack Lodge at White Park

Freese Brothers Band: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. in Eagle Square

Shana Stack Band: Thursday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m. in Eagle Square.

CYPN Block Party

Join the Concord Young Professionals Network (CYPN) on Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for a party in Bicentennial Square. Grab a drink, listen to music and play cornhole while meeting new friends. This event is generously sponsored by Merrimack County Savings Bank, Bona Fide, Margarita’s, Col’s Kitchen, Penuche’s, Brothers Cortado, Penumbra, and Lilise Designer Resale.

Author: Insider Staff

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