Manchester Master Plan

A Stronger Manchester Starts With Us

Oct 18

[ARCHIVED] From the Town Administrator's Desk - October 19, 2017

The original item was published from October 18, 2017 10:09 AM to October 19, 2017 10:20 AM

It is time for a number of updates.


First, thank you to all those who attended the Town Meeting held last Monday.  We had a good turnout with over 300 registered voters, comparable to Annual Town Meeting attendance.  There was thoughtful debate, including proposed amendments to various motions, and conclusive decisions made.  The many bylaw changes that where approved need to be sent to the Attorney General’s Office for final approval before the changes go into effect.  This should happen be the end of the year at the latest.


Our Moderator, Alan Wilson, not only works hard during the meeting to ensure a fair and orderly process, but he also spends significant time leading up to a town meeting researching the legal background on proposed articles and working with the various boards and petitioners on fine-tuning motions to ensure they are in proper form.  His efforts go a long way to help make our Town Meetings productive and accessible to all.


One of the themes of the night was managing our community environment, whether it be how we permit expansion of undersized lots to regulating construction noise, and from traffic/parking management to preserving open space.   This same theme is central to the work of the Master Plan Committee.  The Committee’s work is entering a critical stage of formulating specific action steps that will guide the work of town boards and set budgeting priorities.  An important survey, seeking input on future areas of development and preservation as well as how to balance the need to grow our tax base while maintaining the current character of the community, is now available on line at the Town’s web site.  Please take time to fill out the survey and add your voice to how we should best shape the future of our town. 


A priority concern identified by the initial survey conducted by the Master Plan Committee is the condition of our infrastructure and how we can pay for a long list of needed improvements.  This summer, good progress was made on improvements to our water and sewer systems as well as roads.  However, the projects got bunched up (weather and other delays) and at times it felt like everywhere one turned there was a detour or delay.  Better scheduling of projects and stronger communication efforts to alert residents of what is happening will take place going forward.  Still to come this fall is needed waterline valve replacements at the Pleasant and School Street intersection. 


One of the more frustrating projects for all concerned involved the changed road striping on School, Bridge and Beach Streets.  The push to create more on street parking and to slow traffic led to decisions that were counter to staff recommendations regarding the road markings.  The original lines reappeared as the cover paint wore off leaving us with two sets of yellow lines.  By the end of this month we will bring in a specialized machine that will essentially power wash away the lines and new striping will be professionally applied.  New lines throughout town will be applied prior to the onset of winter. 


Lastly, the development of the FY19 Budget (which begins July 1, 2018) is getting underway.  The best time to make suggestions about possible changes in our municipal spending and service delivery is in these early stages of budget formulation in order to have the time to fully review new approaches or changes to service levels.  Have an idea of how to save money?  Do you see an unmet need that we should be addressing?  I would love to hear from you – stop by Town Hall or drop me a note.