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:
Face mask ordinance
On Monday, Aug. 31, the Concord City Council passed a face-covering ordinance during a special public hearing. The ordinance is effective immediately and will remain in effect through Jan. 2, 2021, unless otherwise repealed or extended.
The Concord City Council has determined that to continue to reduce the spread and infection of COVID-19, it is in the interest of the health and safety of all Concord citizens, residents, visitors, businesses, and the employees of our City and businesses, to wear face coverings while inside a retail establishment. This includes, but is not limited to, department stores, drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and retail or wholesale stores.
“Face covering” is defined as a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers at least the nose, mouth, and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made, homemade, or improvised from ordinary household material.
Customers (ages five and older) are required to wear a face-covering at all times when inside a retail establishment. A face covering is not required to be worn by any person in which doing so may pose a risk for health-related reasons. However, in these cases, special effort should be taken to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other individuals.
Members of the public utilizing City trails, sidewalks and other pedestrian public ways, or public recreational lands, are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained from other individuals, but not required.
Education will be the first step in enforcement. Penalties for non-compliance are as follows: 1st offense – a written warning, 2nd offense and subsequent offense – a $15 fine. The failure to pay the penalty within ten (10) days shall result in the fine doubling. The failure to pay the penalty within twenty (20) business days shall result in an additional fee or four times the original fee. Failure to pay the penalty fee after twenty (20) business days may also result in the issuance of a summons to appear in court to answer to the charge of violating the ordinance.
More information about the ordinance, including printable posters for businesses and a set of FAQs, are available on the City of Concord’s website, http://www.concordnh.gov.
You can fill out the form online at 2020census.gov.
Parks and Rec Fall Programs
Concord Parks & Recreation Department fall programs for adults and children are scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 12, and the department is asking everyone to pre-register at least five days before the start of the class. Youth classes include toddler open gym, preschool playtime, art, dance, safe sitter, and more. Adult classes include dog obedience, art, French, and numerous fitness classes like Zumba, Zumba Gold, Gentle Yoga, Yoga for COPD, Yoga for MS, Refit, and more.
Due to COVID-19, all class sizes have been reduced and pre-registration is required. Please visit concordparksandrec.com for class details and to register. For more information, call 225-8690, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Everett Arena now open
Ice operations will resume at the Everett Arena starting Sept. 8 in accordance with all CDC, State of New Hampshire, and City of Concord guidelines for COVID-19. The arena will be taking special precautions in the interest of public safety, including: keeping facility doors locked until 20 minutes before scheduled hockey practices and 15 minutes before public ice skating or stick practice; utilizing the main entrance to enter the building and the side entrance to exit the building; guests completing a self-screening; requiring masks or facial coverings while in the building (with the exception of while on the ice); maintaining social distancing while on and off the ice; limiting public ice skating to 50% reduced capacity; limiting adult and youth stick practice to 20 skaters and 2 goalies; limiting to one parent/guardian (no siblings) at youth stick practice and hockey practice; limiting to two parents/guardians (no siblings) at hockey games; providing hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility, ensuring increased cleaning and sanitization, improving ventilation and air quality with MERV 13 filtration and increased outdoor air circulation, and more.
Public ice skating and adult stick practice began Sept. 8. Ice skating hours will be Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for ages 14 and up and $5 for ages 13 and under. Skate rentals will be available in the Pro Shop for $5. Skate rentals will be thoroughly disinfected after each use. All public skaters must skate in the same direction and should follow signage when entering and exiting the ice. Adult Stick Practice will be for ages 14 and up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Additional hours will be offered Monday through Thursday, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., through Nov. 25. Admission is $10. Youth Stick Practice will start on Sept. 11 for ages 13 and under. Hours will be Fridays, from 3:30to 4:45 p.m. through Nov. 27. Admission is $10. Information about Concord Youth Hockey can be found at concordyouthhockey.org. High school hockey is scheduled to begin in December.
Public safety remains first priority, so please follow these new guidelines so everyone can safely enjoy ice skating, stick practice, and hockey. Find a full list of new COVID-19 guidelines and more information at concordnh.gov/arena.
As of Sept. 3, severe drought conditions continue in Concord. Recent rain has brought the precipitation deficit down slightly to 7.57 inches below average for this time of year. A lot more rain is needed to make a significant difference. Recent milder temperatures and some rain brought the daily average for Concord’s water production down to 5.45 MGD (millions of gallons per day) last week with a continued trend into this week at 5.2 MGD. This is a major decrease in the City’s water production compared to this summer’s average of 6.5 MGD+ (about 1 MGD+ more than the average summer) and has been a nice reprieve for the City’s Water Treatment Facility. High water consumption this summer has been directly linked to high irrigation with consumption dropping by about 10% when it rains.
We continue to encourage everyone to please use water wisely. Concord’s water supply remains healthy while supplementing from the Contoocook River, but water conservation is still highly recommended to maintain our water source and to reduce the City’s water consumption. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored closely. Watering restrictions are not currently in place for Concord, but it is possible restrictions could be implemented if high water consumption and drought conditions continue. However, the City remains hopeful that consumption should be stabilizing soon due to less irrigation as we approach the end of summer and with the chance for some precipitation. In the meantime, please continue to minimize outdoor water use as much as possible. We thank everyone for doing their part to reduce water consumption. Every drop counts! Find drought updates and water conservation tips at http://www.concordnh.gov/conservation.