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Abatement applications are accepted from January 1st until February 1st
Manchester uses a market adjusted cost approach. In some instances, the assessors may use estimated replacement costs, adjusted for depreciation and condition, to determine the value of the building and other items on the property. Commercial properties are assessed based on the income approach and market adjusted cost approach.
About two dozen factors are used in the computer model.
Currently, the factors include:
Style of home, neighborhood, square footage of the residence, size of lot, construction grade, condition of the residence, age of the building, number of bedrooms and total rooms, full and half baths, rec room, enclosed and open porches, the number of living units, garages, attic, basement, story height, view, exterior siding, central air conditioning, fireplaces, heating, construction costs, land value. The factors were selected as they were found to have the greatest influence on market value.
Information about Manchester’s approximately 2,600 parcels is available on the Town website www.manchester.ma.us or at the Assessor's Office on the computer at the counter.
No, however, it is in your best interest to do so. The Board appreciates the cooperation given by the majority of residents who permit an interior inspection of their residences. Inspections take only a few minutes and can be scheduled to accommodate the homeowner. The assessors must make a reasonable assessment of your property, including the interior, in order to arrive at fair market value. They will most likely estimate highest value and best use if they cannot enter the residence. Interior inspections improve the quality of the valuation process and diminish errors. This saves expense for the taxpayer and the town because fewer assessments are challenged.
The actual tax bill can’t be provided until the state Cherry Sheets are published; the state has approved the town assessments; and the tax rate is established for the town. The latter can’t be done until after Town Meeting. Typically it is 6 months after the beginning of the fiscal year before the actual tax bill is available. Estimated bills are usually mailed to taxpayers in June for the first quarterly payment due August 1st. The second quarterly statement is mailed in September and due November 1st. The actual tax bill is mailed in late December and represents the third quarter payment due February 1st. The fourth and final quarter usually follows in March and is due May 1st.
Click here to learn more about Stream Cleaning.
You must both apply together, in person, for a marriage license. Both parties must have photo identification. This applies to both residents and non-residents of the Commonwealth. According to Massachusetts law, you must jointly file intentions to marry, and you may do so with the city or town clerk in any community in the state. If a person is in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident. A marriage license is valid for 60 days from the time the intentions are filed and may be used in any city or town in the state. It is not valid outside of Massachusetts.
You are not required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. However, you should be aware of any waiting period post divorce before you are able to re-marry. It varies by state but in Massachusetts it is a 90 day waiting period.
You can contact the Town Clerk, Dianne K Bucco at (978)-526-2040 email@example.com
Once you have completed the Firearms Safety Course, come by the station, call 978-526-1212 or email the Firearms Administrator, Patrice Rotundo (firstname.lastname@example.org), to set up an appointment.
After you move to a new address, Massachusetts State Law requires that you report the address change within 30 days to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Please visit the RMV to learn more.
Speeding Tickets: After receiving a citation for a motor vehicle offense you have 20 days to either request a court hearing or pay the fine. To do either, read and follow the directions on the back side of the citation. Follow the directions on ticket to make a payment.
Parking Tickets: Please follow the directions on the ticket. See the Town Clerk with questions or pay online.
Some Motor vehicle crashes must be reported to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The blank reporting form can be picked up at any police station or be downloaded from the RMV.
2023 Collection Schedule
Republic would like to hear from you; please call them directly at 800-323-4285.
Black Earth would like to hear from you; please call them directly at 978-290-4610.
The Manchester compost site is open from Spring through late Fall. Opening and closing dates are subject to weather conditions. Hours are Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Transfer Station will be open on Saturdays 10 AM - 3 PM Closed on holidays.
Pre-scheduled pick-up required: call Republic at 1-800-323-4285. Multiple items per household per week allowed. Items must be placed curbside by 7am on your trash day. Only pre-scheduled/pre-paid items will be collected.
Prepaid sticker required to drop off at the Transfer Station. Contact the Town Clerk's office to purchase a sticker at 978-526-2040. Items may also be picked up curbside after scheduling by calling Republic at 1-800-323-4285.
Pre-paid sticker is required to drop off at the Transfer Station. Please contact the Town Clerk's office to purchase a sticker at 978-526-2040.
Bring fluorescent bulbs to the transfer station.
Rechargeable batteries can be brought to the second floor of Town Hall.
Button batteries do not contain mercury so can now be disposed of in the trash.
A small amount of construction waste may be placed curbside if entirely contained within one orange trash bag. No construction waste may be dropped at the transfer station, even in an orange bag.
Tires are not accepted at the transfer station and must be disposed of privately. View the MassDEP Waste Bans flyer for suggestions. Auto batteries can be taken to the Transfer Station with a pre-purchased $10 sticker, available from the Town Clerk at Town Hall. Please see attendant at Transfer Station for specific location details.
The Board of Health runs hazardous waste disposal days; please visit the Board of Health webpage for more information: Click Here
Manchester Cemetery Information
Please call Sue Taylor, the Water & Sewer Clerk on: 978-526-4450
Click here for Information about Town trees.
Real Estate and Personal Property Tax bills are mailed four times a year. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates: August 1st; November 1st; February 1st; May 1st. The bills are issued thirty (30) days prior to these due dates.
Motor Vehicle bills are annually issued early in the calendar year for all vehicles, as well as throughout the year for any changes to vehicle registration or ownership initiated at the RMV. It is recommended you contact the Tresurer/Collector's Office if you do not see an excise bill by the end of January for your annual excise tax, as well as within 30 days of any changes initiated at the RMV. Water/Sewer bills are issued quarterly, typically in the months of August, November, February, and May. These bills are due 30 days after issue. Please contact the Water Department at 978-526-6424 with any questions on these bills, including issue dates. Boat excise bills are issued annually in the fall and are due within 60 days of issue. Please contact the Harbormaster at 978-526-7832 with questions on boat excise bills.
Gravelly Pond in Hamilton off Upper Pine St / Chebacco Road provides 60% of our water and Lincoln Street Well (LSW) next to the high school provides 40% of our water (on average)
We are fortunate, thanks to the foresight of townspeople 100+ years ago, that our supply is relatively stable and meets our current demands. This puts us in a much better situation than our neighbors who rely on the Ipswich River Basin (or any other stressed water basin). But our plentiful supply is endangered by more-frequent droughts and by unsafe levels of PFAS, as is the case for many water systems. For instance, Cambridge MA had an excellent water supply via Fresh Pond, until suddenly increased PFAS levels shut down that local water supply. Cambridge shifted to the MWRA Quabbin Reservoir system, thanks to an existing connection to MWRA water. (We don’t have the option of connecting to MWRA.) If PFAS levels exceed the new EPA standards (now under review), we may have to shut down Lincoln Street Well which supplies 40% of our drinking water. This would trigger an immediate water crisis, which could only be solved locally through increased treatment and/or conservation.
What is the water rate tier structure? (Here’s a link to the current Rates & Tiers.)
The tier structure is progressive and marginal, just like federal income tax. The more water you use, the more you pay. When your usage crosses certain thresholds, your marginal rate per gallon increases. However, you only pay the higher marginal rate on the amount of water you use above the prior tier.
Here’s the Task Force’s recommended new rates & tiers:
To promote needed water conservation (see #2), increasing the rates is one of several initiatives the Task Force recommended. We use a lot of water, at least 50% more than neighboring towns on a yearly per capita basis. Manchester averages 80 gallons per person per day. Boston is at 32, Cambridge at 42, Hamilton at 44, Essex at 45. Summer usage increase is twice that of neighboring towns. Many of our households are under 40 gallons per capita per day, however high outdoor water usage pushes our averages into a very high range.
65% of users would see the same or lower water bills. One-third would see a 10% to 30% increase and some dozens of households using very large amounts of water will see a 50% increase or more if their water consumption does not change.
NO. Large families will pay higher-tier rates only if they use a lot of water outdoors, just like smaller families. Larger families’ indoor usage will almost never reach the proposed top 2 tiers, where rates are increased. In fact, based on their indoor (essential) water use, almost all families would pay less under the proposed water rates.
The Select Board is expected to review the proposed rates in the fall. If approved, they might go into effect in Q4 2023 or later.
Not really, since each additional gallon still costs something and a significant increase in usage would put you into a higher rate tier. The proposed reduced rates in Tier 1 are designed as a reward for the good behavior of households already conserving our Town’s drinking water (by minimizing their outdoor water usage, in almost every case.)
That was considered by the Task Force, but the real culprit is outside watering and not indoor “essential” usage in the summertime. So increased summer rates would penalize somewhat those households which limit themselves to “essential” indoor usage.
25 households will be testing 2 varieties of smart water meters for the next year or so. They’ll be chosen from over 100 water customers who’ve volunteered. Based on the study results, the Town will pick a vendor and new meters will be provided without charge to all Manchester households and businesses. You’ll be able to track your own water usage in real time, right on your smartphone. (Our existing meters are beyond their 15-20 year expected lifespan and overdue for replacement.)
Yes, all meters will be billed using the same rate structure.
Sewer rates are not affected by the proposed new water rates. They were raised 2.5% for Fiscal Year 2024.
Some meters serve multi-unit properties. The bills from such a meter will be divided by the number of units it services and then the tiered rate pricing structure will be applied to each unit’s portion of usage.
That depends on how they respond to this conservation effort. If they reduce their water consumption by as little as 10%, many will not see an increase in their water costs.
No, it’s not a law but a State targeted maximum which affects approval of grants and permits from the DEP. Reasonably conserving summer irrigation water will help us meet this metric while also saving money down the line, as we’ll treat less water and be less likely to need an expensive third source of water (in addition to Gravelly Pond and Lincoln Street Well). With reasonable conservation, Manchester can continue to rely on voluntary cooperation with watering restrictions.
Manchester’s town drinking water is of equal quality to most bottled water. Our exemplary water treatment facilities can monitor and control most aspects of water quality (see the Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports). And town drinking water is much less expensive (at around 1 cent per gallon) than bottled water (which costs $3-5 per gallon). Our water rates could go up in the next several years when we add very expensive PFAS remediation, but will never approach bottled water prices.
The less water we treat and pump, the less cost the Water Division incurs. In practice, it will take some time and more than just higher rates to change our behaviors toward water conservation. The Task Force has a series of recommendations to encourage intelligent conservation and aims to implement these consistently over the coming years. The goal is to be revenue neutral – collecting the same amount of money while pumping less water, primarily to high volume users.
Some households in Manchester already have their own irrigation wells, many of which are more than adequate for their outside water needs. At least one private irrigation well serves several neighboring households. Irrigation wells don’t require the expensive treatment we give to potable drinking water. And almost no high usage households are in the supply zones of the Lincoln Street Well and Gravelly Pond, so there shouldn’t be any interference with public water supplies.
If you have not saved your water bills you can contact the Water Department at 978-526-1242 and they will send you the 10 year water consumption history for your address.
The final report of the Task Force was delivered on June 20, 2023 and can be found here.
No, this is not a tax increase. First, payments for water go to an account which is separate and used exclusively to pay for providing safe drinking water. These payments cannot be mingled with taxes and general revenues. Second, Manchester’s summer usage increase is more than twice that of neighboring towns. Larger properties have larger water bills because they use a lot of water for irrigation in the summer. We hope that the large property water users will reduce the amount of water that they use for irrigation. Then their water bills will not increase, or at least not much. The Task Force’s intent is to be revenue neutral.
In that event, we will continue to promote more conservation initiatives, including perhaps further water rate increases.