Aldermanic Preview: Elm Street, School Nurses, “Mobile” Safe Stations

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The Board of Aldermen are set to meet again on Tuesday, June 2. Here’s a few of the items on their agenda.



Elm Street for Pedestrians?

Peter Macone, owner of Republic Café and Campo Enoteca has started a petition requesting that Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig close down Elm Street to vehicular traffic during summer months and transform it into a pedestrian thoroughfare to help downtown businesses. As of Sunday, the petition has obtained over 3,100 signatures.

In a recent discussion with the Chamber of Commerce, Craig said that currently the city faces the obstacle of the governor’s crowd limitation executive orders, as the city is not seeing the “flattening of the curve” seen elsewhere in much of the state.

School Nurses Reassigned

With Manchester’s public schools students learning remotely, several school nurses are set to be transferred under the aegis of the Manchester Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control.

If approved, 30 school nurses and six public health nurses would now help the Manchester Health Department Call Center with symptom monitoring calls, lead case investigation of new positive COVID-19 cases which could include contact tracing and help with general COVID-19 questions posed by the public in addition to the remnants of their duties helping student health.

The loan of the nurses would take place from May 3 to June 13, 2020.

Creating a Community Response Unit

Manchester spearheaded the concept of “safe stations” making it easier for victims of opioid abuse to seek immediate assistance without stigma and now the Manchester Fire Department is looking to create what would amount to a “mobile” safe station unit, among other things.

Their proposed Community Response Unit would be assigned to areas of the city with the highest number of crisis-related calls to help reduce response time for potentially fatal situations, especially during peak Safe Station intake hours.

The proposed unit’s mandate also allows flexibility, serving as a backup to existing safe stations personnel as needed as well as providing educational outreach to businesses and schools and aiding police and social workers during adverse childhood encounter incidents.

Funding for the unit would come from funds provided through a two-year state grant and equipment appropriations already existing in the Manchester Fire Department budget.