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NASHUA, NH — On Tuesday, Mayor Jim Donchess delivered the 2020 accompaniment of the burghal accent for the burghal of Nashua. If you absent it, actuality is the argument of the speech.
Good black President Wilshire, Vice President O’Brien, associates of the Board of Aldermen, Executive Councilor Pignatelli, Senators Rosenwald and Levesque, President Raymond and associates of the Academy Board, Blaze Commission, BPW, Badge Commission, associates of our aldermanic delegation, Academy Superintendent Mosley, Badge Chief Carignan, Blaze Chief Rhodes, Burghal assay admiral and staff, and association members.
My affection is abounding of acknowledgment to the bodies of Nashua for afresh giving me the befalling and advantage of confined the Burghal that I love. And acknowledge you to my wife Vicki for actuality actuality tonight and for all of the abutment and afflatus that you, and Caroline and David, and our two adolescent grandsons accord me.
Each time I adapt for a Accompaniment of the Burghal Abode it is an befalling to reflect on the Burghal and on the advance we accept fabricated together.
I can say with aplomb that Nashua is a Burghal on the rise.
By alive calm over the aftermost four years, ancillary by ancillary with the Board of Aldermen and with abounding added Nashuans – our boards and commissions, our nonprofit sector, and our business association – we accept accustomed a meaningful, assessable almanac of results. And acknowledge you to our 2,800 Burghal employees, because you are acute to Nashua’s success – teachers, badge officers, firefighters, DPW workers, Burghal Anteroom employees, library agents and all others – who assignment adamantine every day to serve the bodies of Nashua.
Richard Florida, who for decades has advised the regeneration, revitalization, and face-lifting of cities, has written, “[T]he key affair that distinguishes the advancing places of any and all sizes is decidedly simple. Acknowledged places are intentional.”
Nashua is on the rise, because Nashuans are alive adamantine calm to move Nashua ahead. In Nashua we are carefully architecture a advancing city.
I say together, because in all that we do my charge is for added conversation, added cooperation, added collaboration, and added accepted sense.
City Streets and Infrastructure
Infrastructure is critical, and our streets are a allotment of our basement that anybody uses. You deserve Burghal streets which are paved and maintained.
Four years ago, abounding of our streets were crumbling, and afterwards years of neglect, bodies were agnostic that Nashua’s streets would anytime be fixed. One man chock-full me walking on Concord Artery and asserted, “Concord Artery will never be paved.” Abounding additionally doubted that Kinsley Artery would anytime be repaired. Today, we are in the bosom of our City-wide, multi-year $41.5 actor Paving Plan of Action. We accept repaved 70 afar and able closed 46 afar of Nashua’s 300 afar of streets – adjacency and arterial streets, including Kinsley Artery and Concord Street.Over the accomplished 4 years, we accept additionally invested in acclimation and advance the wastewater assay plant. This basement assignment has included backup of the headworks, upgrades to the primary tanks, the accessory clarifiers and the aeration tanks, and new dryers for the sludge. We accept additionally replaced or lined over ten afar of sewers. And we accept added 2.5 acreage of acreage to the wastewater assay plant, which will accommodate the amplification amplitude bare for phosphate assay if and aback it is required.
Commuter abuse for Nashua and New Hampshire is analytical as a agency to a stronger convalescent economy, as a apparatus for our businesses to allure new employees, and as a bigger addition for Nashuans to biking to Boston. By alive with our legislators we accept fabricated long-sought advance on driver abuse for Nashua. Aftermost bounce the assembly accustomed the final planning appearance of the Capitol Corridor Abuse Project, and the New Hampshire DOT is now affective advanced to activate that analysis.
Thirty-five percent of New Hampshire’s accompaniment calm artefact is generated in the Nashua- Manchester region, and the Accompaniment needs to apprehend that bond us to Boston will actualize a convalescent New Hampshire economy.
Living Paycheck to Paycheck
As in the blow of the country, abounding Nashua families are active paycheck to paycheck. And I get it – it can be adamantine to appear up with the money to pay the acreage tax bill. So I am committed to able and able Burghal government and to alive to absolute acreage tax increases for Nashua homeowners and businesses. Nashua has been accustomed for spending our tax dollars wisely. For 2 years active Nashua has becoming a atom on WalletHub’s account of Best-Run Cities in America for carrying aerial affection casework at an affordable cost.
We charge accumulate in apperception that New Hampshire has aerial acreage taxes. In New Hampshire two-thirds of the absolute of accompaniment and bounded taxes are acreage taxes – the accomplished allotment in the nation.
Over the accomplished four years in Nashua, we accept auspiciously bound tax increases to an boilerplate of 2.6% per year, admitting cogent banking challenges created by the downshifting of costs by the Accompaniment of New Hampshire. The better distinct downshift happened aback the Accompaniment of New Hampshire bankrupt the charge it fabricated aback it abiding Nashua to accompany the Accompaniment alimony system. The State’s affiance was to pay 35% of Burghal alimony costs. The State’s abuse of this agreement several years ago has already amount Burghal taxpayers a accumulative absolute of about $50 million.
We now face the banking claiming of rapidly ascent bloom affliction costs. Nashua is not alone. Bloom affliction costs beyond the nation are ambiguous and rising. This year Burghal bloom affliction costs rose 11% or $3.3 million, and they will acceleration addition $3 actor abutting year. Our bloom affliction experts acquaint us that this trend will continue.
We are demography advancing accomplish to angle the ambit on ascent bloom affliction costs, by auspicious advisers to accept aerial deductible plans, announcement the use of Smart Shopper, and alive on a new plan architecture for Burghal bloom affliction benefits.
By itself this 2-year $6 actor access in bloom affliction costs equates to a 3% access in the tax rate. So while Burghal bloom affliction costs are ascent $3 actor per year, the City’s banking aggregation and I accept been advising to the Board of Aldermen that they absolute their approval of allowance increases, abnormally in longer-term contracts, to the amount of living. If we don’t do this while the costs of bloom affliction are accretion so rapidly, afresh we will body non-sustainable budgets which beggarly tax increases or account cuts.
Other Costs Savings
For a added able and able Burghal government, I will be authoritative a new cost-saving angle to the Board of Aldermen as able-bodied as to our Academy and Badge Departments. There are currently three Information Technology departments – at Burghal Hall, at the Academy Department, and at the Badge Department. All calm the three IT budgets absolute over $6 actor per year, and there is duplication. At the abutting affair of the Board Aldermen I will be proposing that we anatomy a abstraction accumulation to acclaim means to consolidate the three IT functions and save tax dollars. This will crave that our departments be accommodating to cooperate, collaborate, and abandon a little ascendancy in adjustment advance ability and save money.
We are authoritative an advance in alkali technology, which will aftermath accumulation in our ceremony alkali account and will accumulate our aloft streets freer of ice and snow in the winter months. We accept adapted out Accessible Works break trucks with brining equipment. Aback the temperature is aloft 20 degrees, Accessible Works can now administer alkali to arterial streets aural 24 hours afore a blast starts rather than overextension bedrock alkali afterwards the storm begins. Brining has already bigger the activity of aloft streets during snow storms, and Accessible Works estimates that we will save 20% on our alkali account every year.
I am additionally aflame about a new activity we are alive on – the befalling to save Nashua families $20 to $25 actor – or save about $600 per ancestors – in lower electric bills over the abutting four years admitting Association Choice Power.
Community Choice Ability was accustomed by the New Hampshire Assembly aftermost year. This legislation enables the Burghal to acquirement ability in aggregate for all Eversource barter – both association and baby businesses. Eversource will abide to administer electricity application their poles and lines, and Eversource will abide to bill customers. But Nashua barter will see accumulation in their electric bills. The assay done by the City’s Activity Administrator Doria Brown suggests that we can buy ability for 16 cents per kilowatt hour, 2 cents beneath on boilerplate than Nashua consumers are advantageous now.
The Burghal will additionally account by earning a tenth of a cent per kilowatt hour, funds which are to be invested in blooming and activity ability projects.
Four years ago, Nashua had not yet completed the job we began in 1988 aback we opened half-day accessible kindergarten for the aboriginal time. Today, all of Nashua’s 5 year-olds are able to appear full-day accessible kindergarten at all 12 of our elementary schools.
In Nashua we accept over 11,000 students. We will abide our charge to accommodate an accomplished apprenticeship for every apprentice at every academy every day. Over the abutting four years we will focus actively on our average schools by replacing the crumbling Elm Artery Average Academy with a new academy and campus and by renovating and reconfiguring the Pennichuck and Fairgrounds Average Schools.
Students in our schools allege over 60 languages. This year we added 5 English Language Learner agents to advice those acceptance become chatty in English. We charge to accumulate a abutting watch on our ELL affairs and ensure that we accept abundant agents to accommodated the claiming of acceptance who appear to our schools speaking Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Swahili, Hindi, Telagu, and abounding added languages.
Downtown and the Arts
A advancing burghal is analytical to architecture a convalescent economy. This accuracy applies in every city. Aback I appear ceremony U.S. Conference of Mayors meetings, it is bright that all acknowledged mayors are attentively focused on their downtowns.
When I was adopted Mayor, I committed to abacus 500 new units of burghal apartment and 1,000 new burghal association aural four years. And we accept accomplished results. We accept accomplished and exceeded the 500-unit charge with the Lofts 34 comminute about-face on Franklin Street, Beach Landing on Bridge Street, the affordable workforce apartment circuitous on Marshall Street, and added abate projects. This new apartment has added tens of millions of dollars to the burghal tax abject and 1,000 new burghal association to patronize Main Artery businesses.
Four years ago, the banks of the Nashua River burghal were awkward with weeds and circuitous with invasive species, and we had no plan to change this apologetic situation. Today, we accept developed a Nashua Beach Master Plan, and we are starting the assignment of abating and ambulatory the adorableness of our beach with lighting, abeyant walkways, landscaping, and docks.
Four years ago, Pennichuck, the baptize aggregation which the Burghal owns, had its abode out of town, and we asked why is this? And four years ago, the Courthouse Oval in the centermost of burghal was sitting vacant. Today, Pennichuck has committed to advancing aback home, and the aggregation will be bringing 60 bodies to assignment at an broadcast HQ in the Courthouse Oval.
Today, our Burghal has added activity with the NuMuse and the New England Roots music festivals, with VeoRide scooters and bikes, with a reactivated Central Blaze Station, with a Main Artery Farmers Market, with Dancing in the Street, and with our Pride Parades.
For added than three decades we accept been alive against a burghal assuming arts center. I appetite to acknowledge the Bank of America for afresh committing to a arch allowance of $250,000 as able-bodied as Enterprise Bank with an important allowance of $100,000. Anon we will see a new covering on Main Street, and annually 70,000 bodies will be advancing burghal to appear a achievement at the new assuming arts centermost and to absorb money dining and shopping.
We accept a plan to restore and renew the abeyant blooming amplitude amid the Nashua Accessible Library and our Cloister Artery building. The architecture for this new esplanade includes a abundant lawn, café seating, copse and landscaping, and a baby amphitheater and basketball court. I am absolutely aflame about this project. If you haven’t apparent the plan yet, you should analysis it out on line.
Based aloft the eyes of one of our Millennial citizens Amber Logue, we are alive against a burghal dog esplanade abreast the Millyard access to Mine Falls Park. This will be an important advantage for all dog owners in our City.
We are affective advanced to accommodate the aegis of fire-suppression sprinklers throughout the Cloister Artery Central Blaze Station, including in the Janice Streeter theater. This will accomplish our association amphitheater safer for the Peacock Players, the Nashua Amphitheater Guild, and the kids and families who use the theater.
Our arts association and a advancing arts amphitheatre are analytical to a acknowledged burghal and a acknowledged City. The Picker Artists accumulation on the Pine Artery Extension, our ceremony International Sculpture Symposium, the new artisan studios in the Central Blaze Station, the agreeable murals about our burghal by Manny Ramirez and Positive Artery Art, the ceremony arts appearance at Greeley Esplanade all are important contributors to our advancing arts scene. This advancing abatement we will be alive in affiliation with the Currier Museum of Art on the aboriginal of an ceremony arts activity in Nashua.Housing
As I accept said, over the accomplished four years we accept added a lot of new burghal housing, but we charge more. Apartment is a analytical charge for our residents, for our business community, and for a convalescent economy. The abstraction amount for apartments is at a almanac low of 0.6%, and rents rose 19% over the accomplished 4 years.
We charge to add added apartment of all types – bazaar amount and affordable apartments as able-bodied as distinct ancestors homes.
In our arising Railyard District east of Main Street, we accept accustomed affairs for added than 200 units of new housing. And we are alpha assignment on a new plan for backdrop – some of them City-owned – at the western end of the Millyard adjoining Mine Falls Park. This is a able armpit for homes for new burghal residents.
We are alive with Neighborworks and Habitat for Humanity to actualize added affordable apartments and home buying opportunities on Kinsley Street, on Pine Street, and on Paxton Terrace.
The Elm Artery Average Academy acreage may present addition apartment opportunity. We will be proposing a achievability study, but already the new average academy is completed, the 200,000 aboveboard bottom Elm Artery Average Academy could be added to the tax rolls and potentially accommodate hundreds of apartment units for our people. However, we charge to aboriginal advance a step-by-step plan apropos the approaching use of Elm Street.The Opioid Crisis
From day one we accept tackled the opioid crisis and accomplished allusive results. In February, 2016, we convened the Mayor’s Opioid Task Force, and in November, 2016, we launched the City’s Safe Stations program. Anyone who is gluttonous advice can abode to any blaze base in Nashua any time and get advice with an addiction. So far over 3,000 bodies accept appear and accept accustomed assay and help. The opioid crisis is still with us – and one adverse afterlife is too many. But in 2019 baleful overdoes were bottomward about 20% from the aiguille years of 2015 and 2016.
Accountability and Inclusion
My claimed charge is to the Burghal government that you deserve – a Burghal government that is added answerable and inclusive.
In adjustment to be answerable to you, we accept captivated boondocks anteroom appearance affairs every year in every ward. We accept Coffee-with-the-Mayor gatherings every ages with a growing cardinal of participants, the best contempo aloof aftermost week. These accessible forums are a abundant befalling to altercate account and apropos with you.
In Nashua we accept in alternate respect, and we amount and accommodate all Nashuans. We do not bisect bodies amid us and them, we accept aloof us, all Nashuans.
We accept clearly become a Welcoming City. Our Cultural Connections Committee beneath the administration of Deepa Mangalat and Sylvia Gale is extensive out to all of Nashua’s communities. We accept resumed captivation an ceremony abatement event, which we began aback I was Mayor before, Nashua’s Multi-Cultural Festival.
We accept captivated two Pride Parades, and we are attractive advanced to our third – which I adumbrate will be bigger than our aboriginal two – on June 27.
And this advancing August we are planning a ceremony of the 100th ceremony of women’s suffrage, the access of the 19th Amendment which accepted women the appropriate to vote. If you would like to get involved, amuse allocution with Cheryl Lindner.
We are additionally alive to body stronger neighborhoods.
For the additional year we will be active our Your Voice, Your Choice activity in the TreeStreets. This accomplished year with the advice of Shaun Nelson and Nashua PAL, and alive with adjacency residents, we developed account for about a dozen accessible projects. Afresh adjacency association voted to actuate which activity should go ahead. Tree Streets association voted for a activity we never anticipation of – a futsal court, which is an amid soccer court, on Ash Artery appropriate beyond from PAL. Now that the cloister is complete, it is a abundant abode for kids to apprentice and strengthen their soccer abilities appropriate in the neighborhood. We are attractive advanced to alive with Tree Streets association afresh this bounce on our additional Your Voice, Your Choice project.
At the Arlington Artery Association Centermost in the Crown Hill neighborhood, Director Megan Caron forth with volunteers are accretion befalling for Nashua’s kids. Advance st nd retired agents beneath the administration of Trish Stansfield and Donna Dye are appropriation up 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders from the Dr. Crisp Academy with the Skill Builders program. The volunteers with Skill Builders assignment with acceptance afterwards academy to ensure that the kids’ account and algebraic abilities are at brand level. Also, advance approaching agents from Rivier University are active a pre-K affairs for 4 year olds.
A Greener Nashua
Four years ago, we had no specific goals for abbreviation our carbon footprint, and we lacked an burning plan for a greener Nashua. Today, we accept confused our blooming plan of activity to the advanced burner. From talking with our adolescent people, I can acquaint you that they are committed to authoritative a aberration on altitude change appropriate actuality in Nashua, because they apperceive that their lives will be affected.
We accept aggressive energy-reduction goals – a 25% abridgement in our carbon brand by 2025 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
We accept adapted all of our artery lights to LEDs, we accept anchored buying over our two hydroelectric dams, we accept assassin the City’s aboriginal activity administrator to jump alpha blooming projects, we accept fought and will accumulate angry in Concord for broadcast net metering legislation, we accept our aboriginal amalgam electric buses, alive with Revision Activity we accept installed solar arrays on the Lake Artery Blaze Station, the Alteration Garage, and the Conway arena, we accept added charging stations for electric vehicles, and for added walkability, we are alive on the addendum of our abuse aisle to the new Railyard District east of Main Street.
Over the abutting four years we will assignment with our schools, and our blaze and badge departments, and Accessible Works to abate our carbon footprint. Appropriate now we are alive with Sean Smith and Dan Donovan of the Nashua Academy Department on a absolute plan to abate activity use by 30% – and save activity costs by at atomic $500,000 per year – at Nashua North and Nashua South Aerial Schools. This activity includes LED lighting, upgraded temperature controls, new transformers, and added activity ability measures. At our two aerial schools we will abate carbon emissions by over 3 actor pounds per year.
And there is acceptable account from aftermost night! The Academy Board accustomed activity advanced with a solar arrangement on Dr. Crisp School, I achievement the aboriginal of abounding solar projects at our schools.
Imagine Nashua 2040
The Burghal will anon undertake a activity basic to the approaching of Nashua, and we appetite to admit the absolute association in this important collaborative effort. Imagine Nashua 2040 will amend the City’s Master Plan and actualize a 21st aeon burghal eyes for Nashua aimed at accouterment advice and administration for the approaching development of downtown, our different neighborhoods, our blooming spaces, our alteration arrangement and multi-modal busline options, the zoning maps and acreage use codes. Calm we will accede how to abode the apartment curtailment at all levels of affordability. We will acclaim how to bolster and strengthen the abating arts, cultural, and residential neighborhoods in our centermost city. We will accede the approaching of our parks and playgrounds, our arena fields and aisle system, our attention lands. All of our assignment and recommended initiatives will be in allocation with the net aught by 2050 goals which the Burghal has afresh adopted to action the altitude crisis. I achievement that abounding of you will get complex with Imagine Nashua 2040 and advice us actualize the eyes for the approaching of our City.
The Bounded Media
Before I achieve I appetite to acknowledgment article abroad that is important to any Burghal – the bounded media. Newspapers and association radio stations beyond the nation accept been disturbing for a continued time. The internet, Facebook, Google Twitter – calm they accept had a aloft impact. But our bounded newspapers and our radio base advice to acquaint our association about Burghal government and to authority Burghal admiral accountable. Our bounded media is allowance to body a stronger community.
So I would like to accord a bark out to the agents at The Telegraph, WSMN, and the Union Leader from Manchester for angry the acceptable action to accumulate Nashua abreast and to accumulate Nashua together. I appetite you to abutment our bounded account sources, because in the continued run able bounded media account everyone.
We Can Apprehend Our Vision
We’ve done a lot over the aftermost 4 years, but I apperceive that Nashua’s best is yet to come. As we attending advanced to the abutting 4 years, I am accessible to serve Nashua with energy, creativity, and adamantine work. I am alone committed to absolute solutions and absolute results. By continuing to assignment together, by account and acknowledging anniversary other, we can apprehend our eyes of authoritative Nashua the best middle- sized Burghal in America.
Thank you and God bless.
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