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

Jan 27

BOS Weekly Updates - January 23, 2020

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

375th Anniversary Bonfire: Saturday, February 1 – 5 p.m. @ Manchester Athletic Club. Bring the whole family to celebrate this important milestone for MBTS. Regular and Handicapped parking will be available onsite. Hot coco and cookies will be served.

Nomination Papers: Interested in running for local office? Nomination papers for Manchester’s Annual Town Election are now available. Nomination papers may only be picked up by the potential candidate or by someone with the candidate’s written authorization. Any questions please contact Town Clerk Christina St. Pierre at 978-526-2040 or stpierrec@manchester.ma.us. Deadline is March 31.

ADA Evaluation: The town has begun an evaluation process with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of town facilities, services, activities and communication. If you have any questions or feedback regarding this process please contact the Board of Selectmen.

Volunteer Opportunities:  Get Involved! We have a vacancy on the Town’s Finance Committee and the Community Preservation Committee. Please send a letter of interest and volunteer application request to Sonja Nathan in the Selectmen’s Office (nathans@manchester.ma.us).

Fire Department Update: Burning Season runs through May 1, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily and is contingent on weather conditions. Permit is required by Manchester Fire Department and can be purchased for $10 online or in person.

Trash, Recycling, Compost:  Regular schedule

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















Jan 16

From the Town Administrator's Desk - January 16, 2020

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

New Option for a Center for Seniors and More
By Gregory T. Federspiel


An exciting new possibility has been presented to the Town.  Knowing of the Town’s desire to create a center for our growing population of older residents, the Cornerstone Church approached Town officials about obtaining an option to purchase their current home at 20 School Street once the Church builds a new church on lands it has purchased at the corner of School and Mill Streets. 


While the Selectmen can enter into the option, ultimately voters will need to make the final decision whether or not to purchase the property.  Such a vote will likely be put before residents at this spring’s Annual Town Meeting.  In the meantime, work has advanced to determine the feasibility of converting the historic structure into a full-service senior center and multi-purpose community building.


The building is impressively solid with massive timbers throughout.  A preliminary inspection of the building found no structural concerns. With roughly 7500 square feet of floor space, the building provides amble room for a wide range of uses.  An initial renovation plan, developed for the Town by local architect John Harding, shows a welcoming reception area and reading/computer use space surrounded by offices and multi-purpose rooms on the first floor, including exercise rooms and smaller meeting spaces.  The expansive second floor would be home to a commercial kitchen, a very large multi-function room (enough room for some 350 people seated auditorium style or some 250 people at tables.)  The space could be split in half to provide two large function rooms when needed.


The Church has offered to sell the building to the Town for $1.2 million, the appraised value.  If voters approve the purchase, a fundraising effort would be undertaken with the goal of raising the funds needed for the renovation of the building.  Final estimates are being developed on the cost of converting the building to public uses, including an elevator and a required sprinkler system, and should be known by the end of this month. Early indications are that there are interested in individuals willing to make significant donations to make the new center a reality. 


Council on Aging Director Nancy Hammond has identified a wide array of services and programming that could be provided to our older residents from such a new center.  From congregate meals to numerous exercise classes, from lecture series to bridge games, and from flu shots to other health services, the list is long.  The Town’s population of residents over 60 is expected to grow rapidly and is expected to be close to 40% in the not too distant future.  Additionally, the various meeting rooms could be available for many different groups, both private and public.

 

The Selectmen reviewed the plans for the building at their meeting on January 6 and hope to sign off on the proposed option and proposed purchase and sales agreement at their meeting on January 21.  







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.