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

May 07

BOS Weekly Updates - May 7, 2021

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

Town Hall will reopen on Monday, May 10 to the public. Visitors will be required to enter through the front door and exit the lower side door.  Masks and social distancing are required.

Manchester Downtown Businesses: Thanks to the Local Rapid Recovery Grant, new resources are available to help the Manchester business community rebound from the pandemic. Please visit the Business page here for information on upcoming meetings and webinars.

Police Chief Office Hours: Chief Fitzgerald will hold his monthly office hours on Thursday, May 13 from 4 PM to 6 PM at Seaside One. He invites all residents to stop by and say hello.

Town Election:  The Manchester Local Election will take place on Tuesday, May 18 from 7 AM to 8 PM at the Manchester Essex Regional High School.  A sample ballot and warrant can be found here

2021 Beach Stickers:  2021 Beach Stickers are now on sale online or via mail.  Please see the Parking Clerk page here for complete details and instructions.  2021 Stickers must be placed on the front windshield in the upper left corner.

Fire Department Fees: Effective May 1, the Manchester Fire Department issued updated fees for services and permits requested from the fire department. Click here for a complete list.

Trash, recycling, and compost collection:  Regular schedule.  

Follow Us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @townofmbts and visit the Town website to stay informed.

May 07

From the Town Administrator's Desk - May 7, 2021

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

A Round-up of Various Efforts
By Gregory T. Federspiel

Time for a series of updates on a range of topics!

Elections and ATM:  We are rapidly approaching election day in town.  Please mark May 18th on your calendars as voting day.  Local elections are on the ballot – moderator, select board member, school committee member, 2 planning board members, 2 library trustees and 2 housing authority members.  A sample ballot can be found on the Town’s web site.  Balloting will take place at the Middle-High School cafeteria from 7AM to 8PM.  Residents may vote by mail. The application form also is available on the Town’s web site and should be completed and sent to the Town Clerk’s Office in time to have a ballot sent to you and returned to Town Hall by election day, May 18.

A delayed Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for June 21 on the football field of at the high school.  The Annual Report along with the Report from the Finance Committee that contains the town meeting articles and proposed budgets will be sent out to all households a week prior to the meeting.  The materials will also be placed on-line once we receive the booklets back from the printer. 

I look forward to these two very important days in the annual cycle of town governance.  These events present critical opportunities for your direct engagement in Town affairs.  As we have seen lately, such engagement makes a real difference. Make sure your voice is heard!

COVID Progress:  Residents are getting vaccinated and each week we get closer to “herd immunity” and the prospect of defeating the virus.  Conley’s Drug Store is offering shots at the Sacred Heart Church Parish Hall here in town – see the registration link on the Town’s web site.  There are many other options for getting the vaccine and these can be found on the State’s vaccination web site.  No longer are there long wait times to register.  If you have yet to get your shots, now is a great time to do so. 

Town Hall will be open to the public without the necessity of appointments starting Monday, May 10th.  We ask people to enter through the front door and sign in with the greeter who will direct you to the office you need.  Exiting will be through the lower side door.  Per State protocols, masks are required as is social distancing.  We encourage residents to take advantage of the various on-line services available to you.  With beach season around the corner, please obtain your car stickers and beach tags on-line.

We anticipate a relatively normal season for Town beaches.  The Parks and Recreation Department is getting ready for a busy season at Singing Beach.  Certain COVID protocols will still be in place for the bathhouse and social distancing while on the beach between groups will be encouraged. 

Dispatch Debate/Options:  Over the next few months a series of information sessions and public forums will take place to engage in a community discussion about the choices we need to make regarding dispatch services.  We either need to invest in upgrades to our in-house system or switch to the regional center now being operated by the State out of Middleton.  Details on each approach will be presented and public input solicited at upcoming Selectmen meetings in early June and July. 

A citizen petition article asking voters to approve a non-binding resolution requesting that our dispatch services remain in-house will be taken up at the June Annual Town Meeting.  Both the Finance Committee and the Selectmen believe this vote is premature as the information about our options has not been fully presented and debated by residents.  To be sure, for some the decision is easy – they want the service to be provided by town staff.  Others want to base their decision on which option is most cost effective, providing the best available service for the lowest cost.  The Selectmen and Finance Committee would like additional time to better sort out the pros and cons of each option before having residents take a formal vote.

LCD and other Zoning Work:  The Planning Board continues to examine possible revisions to the regulations governing development in the Limited Commercial District.  They have decided that using the State’s 40R approach is not the best fit for Manchester but are continuing to see what revisions can be made to our regulations to allow greater flexibility in what can be developed while still protecting the natural resources of the area. 

Planning Board work also continues reformatting and updating our zoning regulations.  The goal is to have this work completed and recommendations to the voters ready for final debate and voting at a fall Town Meeting.  While many of the changes are one of clarification and re-formatting for easier use, there are potential areas of more substantial changes that will be vetted between now and the 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 (
  • 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.