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

Jul 23

BOS Weekly Updates - July 23, 2021

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

July 23, 2021

Joint Meeting of Planning Board and Selectmen:  A meeting to discuss potential candidates to fill an interim seat on the Planning Board will be held on Monday, July 26 at 6:30 PM. 

Public Safety Dispatch Study:  The Board of Selectmen are studying Manchester’s public safety dispatch service and will take a vote in the fall to either move it to a regional center or keep it in-house.  Visit the Public Safety Dispatch page here learn more about these options. 

Touch A Truck:  Come to this family friendly event on Thursday, July 29 from 5:30 PM – 7 PM behind Town Hall. Explore public safety vehicles and meet the people who keep our Town safe every day. More Information

Manchester Celebration Parade:  The 375 Celebration Parade will be on Saturday, September 25 at 2 PM.  Register your group or float by September 17 here

COVID Vaccine Clinics:  The Cape Ann Regional Clinics continue to offer a local option for COVID vaccines to anyone eligible.  To learn more about clinic locations and times please see the Board of Health

Board and Committee Vacancies:  We are looking for volunteers.  Get involved in local government and join a board or committee.  Vacancies for FY2022 are posted here

Beach and Resident Parking Stickers:  A valid 2021 beach and resident sticker is required to park at Singing Beach and other downtown locations.  Stickers can be purchased in person at the Town Clerks office.  Beach tags are required for each resident age 13-64 to walk on the beach or there is a $7 walk on fee.  Extra tags can be purchased at Town Hall.  

Trash, recycling, and compost collection:  Regular schedule. 

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

 





















BOS Updates – July 9, 2021

Cape Ann Regional Business Grant – All four Cape Ann towns, including Manchester, have received a regional grant from the state to help local small businesses. Are you a business in need of support coming out of COVID or know someone who is? Email info@capeannregionalgrant.org to start the process. 

Public Safety Dispatch Public Forum:  The Board of Selectmen will host a forum to discuss public safety dispatch options on Monday, July 19 at 6:30 PM.  Meeting details will be posted here

COVID Vaccine Clinics:  The Cape Ann Regional Clinics continue to offer a local option for COVID vaccines to anyone eligible.  To learn more about clinic locations and times please see the Board of Health

Board and Committee Vacancies:  Get involved in local government and join a board or committee. Vacancies for FY2022 are posted here

Beach and Resident Parking Stickers:  A valid 2021 beach and resident sticker is required to park at Singing Beach and other downtown locations.  Stickers can be purchased in person at the Town Clerks office.  Beach tags are required for each resident age 13-64 to walk on the beach or there is a $7 walk on fee.  Extra tags can be purchased at Town Hall.  The funds collected from beach stickers and entrance fees are used to directly fund beach operations. 

Trash, recycling, and compost collection:  Regular schedule. 

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









Jul 23

From the Town Administrator's Desk - July 23, 2021

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

Central Street Culvert/Sawmill Brook Restoration Project Update
By Gregory T. Federspiel

One of the larger infrastructure projects that has been in the works for many years is the replacement of the Central Street Culvert and Restoration of Sawmill Brook.  Sawmill Brook travels through the village and empties into the inner harbor next to Seaside 1 after passing under Central Street.   

The old stone arch culvert and dam is failing and needs a complete replacement. Further upstream, the seawalls along the old pond are also severely compromised with sections having fallen into the water channel.  While some band-aid measures have been taken to keep the culvert from collapsing, we are on borrowed time here.  The Town had a scare back during the 2006 Mother’s Day storm when major flooding along Sawmill Brook caused extensive damage to homes and roads along the brook.   As storms intensify and sea levels rise, improving drainage through the central part of town will be even more important.

The culvert replacement project and restoration plan for the Brook has been the focus of detailed analysis over the past four years.  The hydraulics of the brook, the impacts of the old tide gate restricting water flow, and the impact on homes and wildlife have all been studied.  We have been fortunate to receive grant funding for much of this and now have engineering plans about ready for bidding.  Most recently permitting work has been undertaken and is nearly complete.

The cost of the extensive work is projected to be just shy of $6 million.  A new dam and larger culvert are planned along with the rebuilding of a large percentage of the seawalls around the culvert and further upstream past the Fire Station. We are in the running for a federal grant under FEMA’s “BRIC” (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities) program.   Our application for $4.5 million has advanced to the next level.  We will hear by the end of the year whether we will receive this substantial grant. Representative Seth Moulton helped secure letters of support from Senator Warren and Markie.  He was in town last week to gain a first-hand look at the project.  We have received $500,000 from the State under their small bridge program toward the project.  Local dollars will be needed to complete the funding picture.

Further complicating construction is the presence of primary electrical transmission lines that feed not only Manchester, but most of Cape Ann.  These lines will need to be temporality relocated in order to allow the construction to proceed.  While not as challenging, a town water line also is in the way.  Building foundations that double as seawalls are yet another challenge for this project.

The goal is to begin construction a year from this September. Disruptions will be inevitable with the need for closing Central Street for periods of time during the 6 months construction will take.  While details still need to be worked out, we are aiming to accommodate a temporary pedestrian passage over the brook near the construction site.  Vehicular traffic will need to be rerouted during portions of the construction.  

The new culvert without the tide gate will enhance water flow and prevent flooding during all but the worst of storms. The new design took into account higher sea levels as well.   The new design means that instead of a large storm overtopping Central Street by over a foot of water and the subsequent flooding upstream, water will be some 4 feet lower as it flows under the enlarged culvert.

The upstream work will restore the natural flow of the brook and the former march grasses making for a more esthetically pleasing area that will be more attractive to wildlife as well.   

Obviously, Central Street is a critical route for Manchester.  It is essential that we maintain this route. To ensure its long-term viability, we will have to endure the pain of reconstruction. We have over a year to prepare and to develop strategies to minimize the impacts of the construction effort to the extent possible.  Given the location, we will need to be as creative as possible!  

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.