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City appoints diversity committee members following hiatus
06-13-2024 5:14 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

The 12 new appointees to Concord’s committee on diversity includes people with both personal and professional experience, from lawyers to case workers to teachers. They represent a broad swath of city residents, including New Americans of different...

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As Concord city council debates bus stop location, larger concerns about homelessness continue
06-11-2024 4:21 PM

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

On the granite stoop outside of the Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell law firm, Sean Downs took a seat to wait for the bus.The Capital Area Transit stop on North Main Street sits between two driveways for the law firm, but without a bench at the stop...


With few changes, Concord City Council unanimously passes budget
06-04-2024 4:32 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Hailing the roughly $170 million spending plan as “tight,” “responsible” and “as good as we can get it,” Concord city councilors unanimously approved the city’s 2025 budget Monday night.Including councilors’ adjustments — the reinstatement of a...


“We dont want to move” – As Concord continues to increase taxes, those on a fixed income fear what’s next
06-03-2024 9:02 AM

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

At Linda and Donald Matson’s house in Alton, they had nearly 11 acres of land to themselves. Tucked away down a dirt road, the forest bled into their backyard and two neighbors lived at the foot of their street. It was quiet and spacious, but as they...


Council to vote on $170.5 million budget Monday
06-01-2024 7:27 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

For the city tax rate to remain flat next year, Concord city councilors would have to cut roughly $2 million off the spending plan proposed by City Manager Tom Aspell, according to city estimates.As weeks of hearings draw to a close, councilors will...


Crime rates remain low, hold constant as city leaders voice rising safety concerns
05-29-2024 5:05 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Crime in Concord, which remains lower than many of its counterparts in the state, held relatively constant over the last five years and by broad metrics fell slightly in 2023, an annual report from the Concord Police Department shows.At the same time,...


Concord budget fortells major future spending
05-26-2024 8:00 AM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

The $53.6 million Concord wants to spend on capital projects next year doubles the current figure — but it pales in comparison to what’s to come.Several major city building projects are slated for 2026, meaning increases in coming years would likely...


Who’ll foot bill for water projects?
05-18-2024 1:00 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

With the largest increases in proposed city spending next year tied to major water and sewer projects on the Heights, some city councilors appear open to leaning harder on developers to pay for growth-driven infrastructure improvements.The more than...


Concord solidifies plan to respond to homelessness
05-18-2024 12:00 PM

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

Twice a day the fire department can expect a call relating to homelessness in some way, whether it’s a fire at an encampment that needs to be extinguished; the river flooded with high rains and campers are stuck on the banks, or a medical emergency...


Driven by capital projects, city budget proposal would boost spending by $40 million
05-10-2024 6:27 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

With capital expenditures more than doubling, total spending in the city of Concord would increase by more than $40 million next year under the city manager’s proposed budget, while several major projects still wait in the wings. If approved as...


Monitor Way developer seeks $4.67 million from city for proposed new road
05-08-2024 3:57 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Developers looking to build nearly 1,000 housing units near Penacook are asking the city to put $4.7 million towards road building as part of the first construction phase of the project.The Monitor Way project — so dubbed because much of the land will...


‘Bridging the gap’: Phenix Hall pitch to soften downtown height rules moves forward
04-18-2024 2:22 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Sue McCoo knew that adding flexibility to downtown zoning to allow for the repurposing of Phenix Hall would mean her store, Hilltop Consignment, would probably lose its longtime home on Main Street. The zoning change would open the door for the...


‘Money is a driver’: Amid inflation and tight labor market, city fighting to stem employee outflow
04-17-2024 5:13 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

In another move to stem the flow of city employee turnover, Concord city councilors approved a package of increased leave and other perks last week. Previous efforts — including bonuses and a temporary increase in overtime pay for police, weekly cash...


Concord city-schools committee revived, will meet for first time in 2 years
04-16-2024 4:19 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

After the close of their budget planning seasons and with a mounting list of major construction projects between them, a joint committee between city and school district leaders — including both Concord and Merrimack Valley — will reconvene this...


‘The ball is rolling’: Housing and homelessness hot topics at ‘State of the City’
04-11-2024 5:47 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

After stumbling briefly with the accompanying PowerPoint in the first minutes of his remarks, Mayor Byron Champlin poked a little fun at his mistake.“And now I’m going to turn things over to former Mayor Bouley,” he quipped.Eliciting laughter from the...


Despite ‘sticker shock,’ Concord City Council moves forward on new police station plan
04-09-2024 5:07 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Concord City Councilors unanimously voted to follow through on the $4.1 million property purchase for relocating police headquarters Monday, even if the $41.5 million proposal to create the station gave them “sticker shock.”“I was glad that I’m...


Concord estimates $41.5 million cost for renovation and expansion plan for new police HQ
04-05-2024 2:56 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Four months after agreeing to buy the former Concord Group Insurance building along North State Street for $4.1 million, city councilors will consider spending another $41.5 million or more to transform it into a new police headquarters.City staff...


Locals oppose city proposal for splash pad at Garrison Park
03-20-2024 4:23 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Concord is unique in its commitment to the neighborhood pool with seven for its less than 50,000 residents.  “Seven pools are a lot for a community of this size,” Parks and Recreation Director David Gill said. “Each pool has a different character,...


Concord firefighters among first in the nation to get PFAS-free equipment
03-18-2024 5:27 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

When former Concord firefighter Chris Andrews introduced himself to city councilors, he described himself as “a cancer survivor — at least for now.”At the outset of his career, new types of protective gear, including the addition of breathing...


Searchable Concord salary database: Top earners include more police, fewer women
03-14-2024 4:53 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

NOTE TO READERS: Scroll below to access the searchable Concord salary database. If you’re using a smartphone, hold your phone in landscape mode to get the best results. As the number of city employees earning six figures continued to climb in 2023,...


Activists unsuccessfully lobby Concord City Council for Gaza ceasefire resolution
03-12-2024 7:27 PM

By CATHERINE McLAUGHLIN

Led by former mayoral candidate Kate West, a motivated group of activists attended the Concord City Council meeting Monday night seeking a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East. Since this issue wasn’t scheduled for discussion – a...

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