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

Jun 18

BOS Weekly Updates - June 18, 2021

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

BOS Updates – June 18, 2021

Annual Town Meeting:  The Annual Town Meeting will take place on Monday, June 21 at 6:30 PM outside on the Manchester Essex High School Athletic Field.  Rain date is June 23.  Proper COVID safety protocols will remain in place. ATM Information

Open Space and Recreation Seven Year Plan:  The Open Space and Recreation Seven Year Plan Draft is available here.  The Manchester community is invited to view it and make public comment by June 25.

Compost Site Relocation Update:  The DPW and Board of Selectmen will begin the process of reviewing a new proposal to relocate and build a regional compost center on upper Pine Street.  Please see the Compost Site Relocation page here for the most current information and updates.

Powder House Hill Story Trail:  The MECT has extended the Powder House Hill Story Trail through June 30 to allow visitors to enjoy this family-oriented activity.

Fourth of July Events:  The Town is pleased to offer a variety of patriotic events this year such as a house decorating contest, concert in the park, boat parade and the traditional Red, White and Blue Breakfast. Click here for more information.

Town Birthday Concert:  The 375th Committee will host a birthday concert on Friday, June 18 from 5 PM to 8 PM at Masconomo Park.  Rain date June 19.  Register at

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 online or 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 to stay informed.

Jun 18

From the Town Administrator's Desk - June 18, 2021

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

June 18, 2021
Its Annual Town Meeting Time - By Gregory T. Federspiel

On Monday, June 21st, we gather for the Annual Town Meeting.  We will once again be outside on the athletic field at the Middle High School with COVID protocols in place.  The meeting starts at 6:30PM.  Please plan on arriving early so that we can get everyone seated and ready for a prompt start.

The Meeting can be broken out into three segments.  Up first will be the Consent Agenda.  The Consent Agenda is designed to take care of articles on the warrant that typically pass with out debate or questions.  The Moderator presents the articles as a “package”.  Assuming no one objects, the articles are approved in one vote.  The Consent Agenda, which will be provided as a handout at the meeting, will contain Articles 1 (Approval of the Annual Town Report) Article 2 (Agree not to pay Selectmen or the Moderator), Article 6, (Pay two small bills left over from the last fiscal year) Article 9 (Approve the annual contribution to the Town’s post retirement health insurance fund (OPEB)), and Article 10, (Approve the amount for the annual revolving fund account for Park and Recreation programs – fees collected to pay for the programs). 

The second part of the meeting will deal with various budgets. Article 3 is the budget request from the Essex Technical and Agricultural School.  Manchester sends 11 students to the regional vocational school.

 Article 4 is the Town Operating budget for the Fiscal Year that begins July 1.  The detailed, line- item expenditures proposed for FY22 can be found in the Finance Committee Report that has been delivered to each household as well on on-line.  The proposed budget calls for a 2.4% increase in total expenditures for next year. 

Article 5 contains the proposed capital expenses for FY22.  The list of proposed project and equipment purchases also can be found in the Finance Committee’s Report where you can also fine information on our capital planning and proposals for the next five years.

Under Article 7, voters will be asked to approve the FY22 budget for operating the School District.  Both the District’s operating and capital budgets will be presented and voted on.  The District distributed a pamphlet regarding their budget along with the Town’s Annual Report and Finance Committee Report.

Article 8 seeks voter approval for the proposed Community Preservation projects as previously reviewed.

All told, if voters approve the budgets as presented, next year’s tax rate is slated to increase by 1.5%.  This is up from this year’s 0% increase but below the more typical 2.5% increase.

The last set of articles deal with special questions put before voters.

In Article 11, voters are asked to grant the Selectmen the authority to allow Hamilton to abandon the stretch of Chebacco Road that passes through conservation land owned by Manchester as well as an unused right of way and create a new right of way for Hamilton to build a new paved road further away from Gravely Pond, one of the Town’s drinking supply reservoirs. 

Articles 12, 13, and 14 are citizen petition articles that were generated in response to the recently proposed 40B project on Upper School Street.  Article 12 asks voters to express their opposition to the project and instead support alternative affordable housing efforts. Article 13 asks voters to further regulate blasting.  Article 14 asks voters to require larger projects to have a minimum of 2 access roads.

Article 15 and 16 are also citizen petition articles with 15 asking voters to advise the Selectmen to keep our public dispatch services in-house while Article 16 asks voters to postpone any votes on amending the Town’s zoning by-laws. (None are proposed at this time thus this article may be passed over.) 

We operate under an open town meeting form of government.  This means all registered voters serve as our legislative body determining our budgets and bylaws.  To perform your legislative duties to the Town you need to attend Town Meeting!  I look forward to seeing you Monday evening and assisting in making the decisions necessary for the Town to move forward. 

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 (
  • 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:
  • 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.