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Atkinson

Covid-19 Updates

COVID-19 Update May 20, 2020

Good afternoon,
While today is beautiful Spring day, I have some news that is less uplifting. First, our active COVID-19 caseload has gone from 2 to 3 and the number of positive tests has gone from 16 to 18. However, these numbers are still low in comparison to our neighboring municipalities. Second, the Board of Selectmen decided to cancel the Sun 'n Fun summer recreational program. The State's preliminary guidelines for governing such programs were not easily transferable to the Sun 'n Fun program and making this decision now would allow potential staff the opportunity of seeking other employment rather than waiting until June to learn if they were being hired.

In recognition of their achievements and the loss of the full high school senior year experience, the Board of Selectmen is encouraging graduating high school seniors from Atkinson to place any signs provided by their high school recognizing their graduation achievement on the Dow Common from Friday, May 29 to Monday, June 8 within five feet of the roadways surrounding it.

The Memorial Day Committee & Veterans asked me to share the following message with you:

This year, due to COVID-19, several changes will be made in our memorial day proceedings to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service this our country. On Monday, May 25th, at 10AM, veterans will be driving through town, accompanied by the Atkinson Fire & Police Departments. The route will be as follows: start at the Community Center; turn right on Main Street; right onto Maple Avenue; left onto Academy at the Rockwell Memorial; right into the back of the Town Hall and then to the front to the Vietnam Memorial; right onto Academy Avenue; left onto Leroy; right onto Main Street; right onto Maurice at Dow Memorial; left onto Academy with a quick right onto the historical view of the World War II & Korean Memorial; and ending in back of the library.
Please honor our veterans as they ride this route and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in service to our country. Please be sure to follow social distancing guidelines.

A Memorial Day address by our Grand Marshal, Don Latham, will be broadcast on the Atkinson Community TV (Channel 20) and the town’s Facebook page. We will also be rebroadcasting a video of the 2019 Memorial Day parade and ceremonies on these same channels.
Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe.
The Atkinson Memorial Day Committee and Veterans

On Monday night, the Selectmen established a five person committee to study the impact of combining the Town Clerk and Tax Collector offices. Also, they awarded a contract to Municipal Resources, Inc. for a Fire Rescue Organizational Study. They awarded work to two contractors to make it safer for the Town's employees and residents to conduct business once Town Hall and the Community Center re-open to the public.

On June 15, the Hampstead Area Water Company will make a presentation to the Selectmen on how they will be changing their treatment process in recognition of their inter-connection with the Southern NH Water project.

Based on the weather forecast, I am certain that many of you will be doing yard work. As you re-seed, fertilize, mulch and mow your yard, please review the Town's fertilizer use flyer on this webpage.

Finally, 2019 dog licenses expired on April 30th. Due to the COVID-19 shut-down, the Town Clerk’s office has decided to extend the grace period to include May and June. Any dogs not licensed by June 30 will begin incurring late fees. Please remember that if you need to register your car or dog or need to register for the State primary in September, there is important information on the Town Clerk's webpage. http://www.town-atkinsonnh.com/clerk.html.

The Tax Collector advises that the tax bills will be mailed on or before June 1 and will be due on July 1.

Sincerely,

David Cressman
Town Administrator

COVID-19 Update May 13, 2020

Good afternoon,

After last night's cold temperatures, I hope that we can start to leave behind Winter and move into Spring. Likewise, I have a similar hope with COVID-19 that we may cautiously start to head to the "new normal".
In Atkinson, the Police Chief advised me today that we are down to two active case locations. The State advises we have had 16 positive tests. This is good news when we look at the experience of some of our neighboring municipalities.

The Library Board of Trustees began this week a limited contact less library circulation program. Please visit their website, https://kimballlibrary.com/, or use this link, https://conta.cc/3ctPknf, for more information about "Take Out at Your Library".

Governor Sununu is not providing guidance on summer camps until May 18 so the Selectmen's discussion on the Sun 'n Fun program will be delayed until June 1.

The Town's Beautification Program is from Friday, May 15 to Saturday, May 23. You can pick up supplies at Kimball Library. This is an opportunity for you to help clean up the Town's streets. Please call 603-362-5531 to arrange a pick up of the bags. Thank you for participating as others who have done this in the past have had to postpone assisting the Town due to the pandemic.

The Town's traditional Memorial Day parade has become a victim of the pandemic. Instead, there will be a drive-by event on Monday, May 25 at 10:30 AM and a replay of last year's parade on ACTV. Parade route can be found on the Town of Atkinson Facebook page and website homepage

Safe Wise has just released its 6th annual Safest Cities in New Hampshire report. I think we’re all in need of some good news lately, so I’m especially excited to announce the following:

Atkinson ranked #3 this year among the top 20 safest cities in New Hampshire. Congrats!
You can read the full report here: Safest Cities in NH

The Town's tennis courts will be closed Tuesday, May 19 & Wed., May 20 for maintenance work provided the weather cooperates.

Thank you for your continued patience working with the Town Clerk’s Office. Vehicle Registration Renewals may take longer for processing during this Covid time. Also, for faster service, please email TownClerk@atkinson-nh.gov instead of calling. Please provide specifics in your email

As a reminder, June 2, 2020 is the last day for you to change your registration for the September primary.
Here is the information for when and where to do this:

      May 19 (Tuesday) from 7 – 7:30 pm at the Atkinson Community Center with the Supervisors of the Checklist.
    June 1st (Monday) from 6 – 8 pm at the Town Hall lobby with the Supervisors of the Checklist.
    June 2nd (Tuesday) from 7 – 7:30 pm at the Atkinson Community Center with the Supervisors of the Checklist.
    If you cannot make any of those dates, please call the Atkinson Town Clerk’s office to schedule an appointment. Or, should the Covid-19 ban lift prior to June 2nd, stop by the Town Clerk’s office to complete your party change form. No appointment is required if the Town Hall is open.

The Transfer Station at Woodlock Park is open its normal hours. No 2020 permit is needed. You only need a 2019 permit or proof of residency.

Sincerely,

David Cressman
Town Administrator

Covid-19 Update May 6, 2020

On Monday night, the Board of Selectmen addressed access to Town parks as follows:

All Town of Atkinson parks - Woodlock/Pope Fields and Collins Park - are back open for public use. The Town asks people to continue following social distancing guidelines when using the parks. The playground, bathrooms and basketball court at Woodlock/Pope remain closed. Organized sports and group sports are not authorized at the parks.

The Selectmen decided to follow Gov. Sununu's Executive Order and maintain the closure of Town Hall and the Community Center until June 1. While the Kimball Library remains closed Library Director Brown reviewed the Library's multi-step plan to re-open and the Trustees may initiate this prior to June 1 in terms of taking book orders and placing them outside the library for pick-up.

The next Selectmen's meeting it is anticipated that there will be a decision as to whether to operate the Sun 'n Fun program this summer.

In terms of active cases, we have increased from 2 to 6 active cases and total cases went from 9 to 16. While the direction of these numbers is disconcerting, you should be aware that they are concentrated in only a few locations and the increase resulted from family members contracting the illness from other family members.

Finally, the Selectmen and I are exploring how we introduce social distancing to Town Hall and the Community Center once the Governor lifts his Executive Order. We are looking at physical and operational changes to insure the safety of our employees and you, our customers.
In terms of other news, the Town Clerk's software vendor has re-instituted certain fees so you should check Town Clerk Website, for the most up to date info.

Thank you for your continued patience working with the Town Clerk’s Office. Vehicle Registration Renewals may take longer for processing during this Covid time. Also, for faster service, please email townclerk@atkinson-nh.gov instead of calling. Please provide specifics in your email.

As a reminder, June 2, 2020 is the last day for you to change your registration for the September primary.

The Transfer Station at Woodlock Park is open its normal hours. No 2020 permit is needed. You only need a 2019 permit or proof of residency.

Next week, I will have information regarding a Beautification project and hope you will be able to participate as other groups have not been able to clean the Town's roadways as in past years.

Sincerely,

David Cressman
Town Administrator

COVID-19 Update April 29, 2020

Good afternoon,

With today's sunshine, I take it as a ray of hope that we may be past the surge and look forward to a gradual return to what some people are calling the "new normal". For Atkinson, our numbers reflect an improvement over last week. We are down to two active cases. Since this number is different from what WMUR is showing on their website, please realize that the WMUR number of nine cases reflects the total number of cases in Atkinson since the State started to track COVID-19 cases.

In getting ready for the "new normal", next Monday night, 5/4/2020, the Selectmen will start to discuss the steps that Atkinson will implement once the Governor decides to modify his Executive Order restrictions. This will include discussion about access to Town buildings and parks and programs. You may want to watch this on ACTV or our Facebook page.
As part of today's newsletter, Town Clerk Julianna Hale has asked me to remind you that she has updated the Town's website information related to new and used car purchases on the Town Clerk's web page.

Also, please remember that all 2019 dog licenses expire tomorrow, 4/30/2020. If you have not done so yet, renew your dog license by following the information on the Town Clerk's website. The Clerk’s Office offers the month of May as a grace period, but fines will begin generating June 1, 2020.

Next week, work solely funded by the NH Department of Environmental Services is scheduled to begin at the Kimball House on Academy Ave. to remove heating oil from a leak in 2007. With work expected to occur over three weeks, you may want to avoid driving on Academy Ave.

Finally, the weather this weekend appears to be excellent. I expect many of you will take the opportunity to do yard work. Therefore, I would like to refer you to our yard waste flyer and fertilizer use flyer on our Local MS-4 web page I was speaking to a resident within the past week who was frustrated that a pond near his property gets algae and other vegetative growth in the summer which makes the pond less healthy. However, the problem really is related to fertilizer use upstream. Please remember that only you and your neighbors can address this issue and the Town appreciates your efforts.

Sincerely,

David Cressman
Town Administrator

COVID-19 Update April 22, 2020

Good afternoon,

Since my last communication to you, the Town had its first resident die from COVID-19 and we wish to express our sympathies to that person's family. The Town hopes that we do not experience any further sad news. The good news is that the Town is not seeing an increase in active cases. We are still at 4 cases which is the same as last week. Thus, your compliance with social distancing is keeping the rate of infections in check.

On Monday night, the Board of Selectmen conducted the Town's first virtual public meeting and from reviewers I believe that it was successful. A special thanks to our ACTV Station Manager who spent the past several weeks working thru a variety of issues, such as compatability of equipment with virtual meeting software, compliance with NH Attorney General guidelines, maintaining security so the meeting is not hacked, and finding a software package that was affordable but had the ability to meet our functionality requirements.

At the meeting the Selectmen decided to keep the Town's parks closed until May 4 when we are to get further guidance from Gov. Sununu regarding public gatherings. In checking witth the Police Dept. you have followed the Town's park restrictions and we appreciate it.. Concerning the brush dump at Woodlock Park, that facility will remain open and follow its normal hours. No sticker is needed just proof of your residency.

Finally, our Road Agent advises me that Brox finished the paving program for this year. This is good news and I wish to thank the Road Agent and his staff for work on this project.

Sincerely,

David Cressman
Town Administrator

COVID-19 Update April 15, 2020

Good afternoon,
Since last week, there have been some positive events in Atkinson. First, I would like to thank the police officers and the Atkinson Academy teachers who arranged a car parade yesterday to visit their students which was appreciated throughout the community. Also, I wish to thank Sewing Angels for making masks and distributing them last Saturday.
Chief Crowley advised me that we now have four COVID-19 cases vs. three cases last week. While we hope that all of them recover from this, at least one of four is very sick and we especially hope this spouse of a Town official recovers.
Today, I conducted my first virtual meeting of the Town's Department Heads and it was successful. This was a test prior to dong the Selectmen's meeting virtually next Monday along with other Town board & committee meetings in the future
Town Clerk Julianna Hale asked me to remind you that dog license renewals are still required as of April 30, 2020 as the State Agriculture Dept. has not relaxed this requirement. You can do renewals online using the Town's website or mail in a check. Town Hall and other public buildings remain closed to the public. If you need to reach us, please email or call us. When calling, please leave a message which will be returned.
Road Agent Ted Stewart advises that paving is continuing next week. The Woodlock Park brush & recycling facility is open per hours shown on the Town's website.
The Selectmen need to decide the status of the parks next week. As of now, the tot lot and any restroom facilities are closed. Trails are open but practice social distancing.
Finally, the NH Attorney General's office reports a proliferation of telephone and computer scams related to COVID-19. Here is a link to his website and this issue,
https://www.doj.nh.gov/news/2020/20200414-aging-adults-scams.htm
Be safe & take care.
David Cressman
Town Administrator

Atkinson's Response to Covid 19

The Board of Selectmen just finished a meeting addressing this subject.
During a time of an unprecedented event, the focus was to create a balance between continuing to provide municipal services and protecting the Town's residents and employees.
Therefore, the following decisions were made effective immediately and will continue thru May 4 with the understanding that depending on the current fluid conditions within the country and our state, these decisions may be modified:

  • All the Community Center Events and programs are cancelled.
  • The Police Station lobby is closed except for emergency/urgent matters. Most requests for reports can be handled via email and phone contact.
  • The Fire Station is closed to the public.
  • The Town Clerk's Office requires residents to do their renewals online by check or credit card or mail. Only items which cannot be done online will be done by appointment. If an appointment is needed please call 362-4920.
  • The Tax Collector's Office will be closed to the public. Correspondence can occur by email, phone or regular mail.
  • The Inspections Office will be open to the public by appointment only. Individualists requiring a permit should contact the office by email, phone or regular mail for assistance.
  • The Selectmen's Office and any other office in Town Hall will be open by appointment only.
  • The bulk waste pickup will be postponed to a date to be determined.
Additionally, the Selectmen cancelled the Easter Egg hunt.
The Selectmen remind residents that our parks are closed until April 15.
The Selectmen met with the Chair of the Library Trustees & Library Director and learned that the Library will be closed from Wed. March, 18 until Monday, May 4.
Please remember the Town will still be providing trash/recycling services, elder transportation services, police and fire services, and road maintenance services plus the transfer station at Woodlock park will be open its regular hours.
In closing, we wish you will cooperatively work with us during this unprecedented time to implement these service revisions which will help to protect both you, our residents, and our employees.
Sincerely,
David Cressman Town Administrator

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