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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

May 29

BOS Weekly Updates - May 29, 2020

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

BOS Updates – May 29, 2020

Town Hall remains closed to the public. Staff is available to help you with your business needs. Phone lines are still down. Please email the appropriate department directly for assistance.

Phase 2 of Reopening MBTS Parks and Beaches is in Effect. MBTS Beaches are Monday-Friday to residents only for walking purposes. Singing Beach will be staffed from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. by Parks & Recreation Staff and the Manchester Police Department. Walk-on passes must be visible on every resident between 12 and 65 years old for admittance. A face covering is required when entering and exiting the beach ramp. Beach parking lots are closed. Please see the Town website to read the complete MBTS reopening guidelines. All athletic fields remain CLOSED until further notice. Rules apply 24 hours a day. 

Drive Through Sale of Beach Stickers and More: Saturday, May 30th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. at MERHS. Come purchase your beach sticker, resident sticker, boat placard, mooring placard and business placard from the convenience of your car. Please read the instructions on the Town website before attending. The 2020 Beach/Resident Stickers are required by June 1, 2020 and can also be purchased online at manchesterstickers.cityhallsystems.com.

4th Quarter Real Estate and Personal Property Bills: Due Monday, June 1, 2020. You can make a payment on the Town website, using the Town payment drop box or via mail. Please email Treasurer Jennifer Yaskell yaskellj@manchester.ma.us with any questions.

Town Hall Payment Drop Box: Installed at the rear of Town Hall by the Police Station Blue Door and monitored by a security camera. Please use this convenient box to drop payments off for any Town Bills. Please No Cash!

Annual Town Meeting: Monday, June 22, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. on the Manchester Essex Middle High School Athletic Field. Rain date will be Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Proper social distancing measures will be in place to ensure the safety of all residents in attendance.

Town Election: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at the Manchester Essex Middle High School. Mail in ballots can be requested through the Town Clerks office.

Board of Health Update: Face coverings are required, per order of the Governor, when entering any public building as well as outside when proper social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. Get the latest information on COVID-19 please visit the Town website www.manchester.ma.us

Trash, Recycling, Compost: Regular schedule.

Follow Us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @townofmbts and visit the Town website www.Manchester.ma.us to stay informed.






May 29

From the Town Administrator's Desk - May 29, 2020

Posted to From the Town Administrator's Desk by Tiffany Marletta

Town Meeting and COVID Updates
By Gregory T. Federspiel

These two topics - the Annual Town Meeting and COVID 19 - continue to dominate much of our work.   As explained by Town Moderator Alan Wilson, Select Board Chairman Eli Boling and Town Clerk Christina St. Pierre in a separate article, our Annual Town Meeting will be June 22 (rain date 6/24) outdoors on the high school football field.  This will enable us to spread out in order to minimize the risk of contracting COVID 19.  Who knows, we might like the new venue so much that a new tradition is born!

The focus of the Annual Town Meeting will be the town and school budgets for FY21, which begins July 1.  Over the past six weeks, the Selectmen, the Finance Committee and the School Committee have been working on revised budgets as a result of the economic impacts of the pandemic.  The original budgets were finalized just before the virus impacts became so devasting. 

Recognizing the economic downturn we have entered, both the Finance Committee and the Selectmen embarked on a process to scale back expenditures for FY21 to allow a 0% property tax increase as well as a reduction in our local receipts (various fees collected including vehicle excise tax, beach fees, permits, etc.)  A new “Plan B” budget will be presented that reduces total expenditures for Town operations and capital needs by nearly $800,000 – approximately $200,000 from operating expenses and some $600,000 in capital expenses. 

While the Town’s appropriation to the School District remains at the originally proposed amount, the District is having to reduce total expenditures. State and federal aid is anticipated to be lower.  An optimistic 10% reduction in aid lowers the District’s revenue for next year by $360,000.  The District’s revised proposed budget shows expenditures lowered by some $245,000 with an increased use in the District’s reserve fund and a change in Special Education expenses.  Greater reductions in state and federal aid will require additional reductions in expenditures.  However, if federal and state aid comes in higher than anticipated, the District will be able to return funds to the towns. 

Materials for the Annual Town Meeting will be assembled, and a distribution plan finalized in the next couple of weeks.  The original budget will be contained in the Finance Committee Report with revisions presented in a Plan B supplement. (The original budget had already gone to the printers just prior to the shut-down of the economy.)  The Selectmen and Finance Committee recommend adoption of the Plan B budget by voters at the town meeting.  The Plan B Budget will be presented as an amendments to Articles 4 and 5. 

Re-opening of the economy and outdoor spaces are gradually taking place.  The state’s 4-phase process began last week with Phase I in place for at least another 2 weeks (each phase is expected to last for a minimum of 3 weeks.)  This week business offices can open at 25% capacity and retailers who up until now have not been permitted to open can offer curb-side services.  Restaurants will be allowed to open but with much reduced seating capacity in the state’s Phase 2.  Both retailers and restaurant owners would benefit from being able to have outdoor space during this restricted period.  At a future Selectmen’s meeting temporary outside dining and retail displays on town sidewalks in conjunction with temporarily removing some parking spaces will be discussed.

The Town’s phased opening of parks and beaches, which differs from the state’s phases, will undergo continued review as well.  The next phase anticipates opening our outdoor spaces 7 days a week and allowing sunbathing, swimming, and small groups at the beaches.  The timing of the start of this Town Phase 3 depends on how infection rates are doing and how well people do under Town Phase 2.  Details on the first two Town Phases are on the Town’s web site. 





Jun 17

MPC Update - June 2019

Posted to Manchester Master Plan News by Christina St. Pierre

Master Plan Update , June 2019

Manchester’s master planning efforts have spanned four years culminating in Planning Board approval of the Plan as submitted by the Master Plan Committee with minor text and organizational edits.  Since that approval in February, a Planning Board Subcommittee has been working with the Town Planner to finalize the Plan’s text and will next work on formatting the Plan for publication and developing a Master Plan Summary to be widely distributed. 

As the Plan is being finalized, implementation of the Plan’s recommendations have begun with several important initiatives.

  • The Planning Board has secured the services of land use attorney Mark Bobrowski to work with the Planning and Zoning Boards, the Zoning Enforcement Officer and others to re-codify and update the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to guide change in line with the Town’s Vision. For more information see (http://manchester.ma.us/703/Zoning-Recodification)
  • Representatives of various municipal boards and committees are meeting to discuss the potential for Smart Growth Overlay Districts in town as a tool to support a greater diversity of housing options.
  • The Town has applied for technical assistance and/or funding for a Parking Study, a Limited Commercial Strategic Plan and a Downtown Strategic Plan which can be accessed on the Town’s Website: https://www.manchester.ma.us/702/Grant-Applications-Awards
  • The Town is working with a consultant to study and identify opportunities for shared services with the Town of Essex.  The report is expected to be finalized by July.
  • The Town is working with MassHousing Partnership to assess the feasibility of a mix of market rate and affordable housing on the current DPW site. 
  • The Town is evaluating opportunities for a Harbor Master’s Office and Public Restrooms at Reed Park and Masconomo Park.


As part of the implementation process, the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board will be developing a communications strategy for updating residents on initiatives on a regular basis.  The goal is to provide a comprehensive list of the Plan’s Recommendations with a continually updated status.