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

Sep 18

BOS Weekly Updates - September 18, 2020

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

BOS Updates – September 18, 2020

Town Common Update: The Town Common has reopened to the public. The stairs to the Police Department will be temporarily blocked until permanent railings are installed. Residents can now access Town Hall via the front door. Work on the new Honor Roll Memorial is slated to start next week and should be completed by early November.

Election day: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at the Manchester Essex Regional High School from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Early voting begins at Town Hall on Saturday, October 17th. The last day to register to vote is Saturday, October 24, 2020. Voting by mail is also an option – send in your request to the Town Clerk’s Office if you did not do so prior to the primary election.

Board of Selectmen Meeting: Monday, September 21, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. via the Town’s new Zoom platform. Meeting log-in information is listed on the Town Website.

Public Forum on Manchester’s Limited Commercial District (40R): Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 6 p.m. Register on the Town Website. This public visioning session will begin with an overview of Manchester’s Limited Commercial District and the potential for a 40R zoning district. Afterwards, participants will be asked to complete a survey to share their priorities for the area, including what types of uses should be supported, how the new neighborhood should look and feel, and how it could connect to and interact with the greater community.

Community Preservation Committee: The Manchester Community Preservation Committee (CPC) will begin accepting proposals for CPA funding. CPC applications will be accepted until December 1, 2020.

MBTS Parks and Beaches Update: MBTS Beaches will remain open 7 days a week to RESIDENTS ONLY through October 15th. Staffing hours will vary by Parks and Recreation and/or Manchester Police Department. Walk-on passes must be visible on every resident between 12 and 65 years old for admittance. Parking lot is open to residents only with 2020 Beach Stickers. Please see the Town website to read the complete rules and guidelines.

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!

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.





Sep 18

From the Town Administrator's Desk - September 18, 2020

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

ANNOUNCING NEW GRANT SUPPORT FOR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES

By Gregory T. Federspiel

I am pleased to announce a new grant program to support local micro-businesses impacted by the pandemic.  Manchester joined 22 other communities in the greater Boston metropolitan region in securing federally funded Community Development Block Grant dollars through the CARES Act of 2020.  A total of $4,950,000 is being made available to the 23 communities.  Manchester’s allocation is $63,000.

The funding is designed to address COVID induced emergency cash needs of very small local businesses.  Individual businesses are eligible for up to $10,000 in grant funding.  These “micro-business” awards are targeted toward a commercial, for-profit enterprise that has five or fewer employees, including the owner(s). 

The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is administering the program for the 23 communities.  Applications are available through the MGCC portal, available here and are due by September 25th. Businesses interested in applying should visit the website for details on the application process and fill out the on-line application. 

In addition to targeting micro-enterprises, the new grant program gives priority to those business owners who qualify as a low- or moderate-income (LMI) person. An individual is considered to be LMI based on their annualized family income which must be no more than 80% of the median income for a given family size (the application web page has a link to this data for our area.) For a family of four, 80% of the annual median family income is just over $89,000.

Grant funding may be used for rent, mortgage assistance, utilities or payroll. Funds may also be used to purchase PPE.  Home-based businesses as well as store-front enterprises are eligible.

Businesses that have a physical establishment in the following 23 participating communities can apply: Ashland, Beverly, Burlington, Canton, Concord, Dedham, Essex, Lexington, Manchester by the Sea, Marlborough, Melrose, Milton, Natick, North Reading, Norwood, Randolph, Reading, Sharon, Southborough, Stoneham, Watertown, Winchester or Woburn.

If you have questions or need assistance in applying for a grant, please let me know as I will be happy to help.

In other news, the Selectmen are preparing to update many local speed limits.  Instead of one large safety zone with a 20 MPH limit encompassing most of the greater village area, a series of more targeted safety zones will be proposed with most other areas having a 25 MPH limit; 35 MPH limits are proposed for the most undeveloped outskirts of town.  A public hearing on these changes will be held at the Selectmen’s meeting scheduled for October 5.   

Lastly, the front doors of Town Hall are once again open.  The majority of the work restoring the Town Common is complete and the redesign looks great.  New railings still need to be added and the work on the Soldier’s Honor Roll will be getting underway shortly which will round out the work later this fall.    




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.