Board of Health
Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control will begin mosquito surveillance and testing in Manchester weekly through October 2021. The town will receive weekly testing reports from the company.
Manchester’s treatment plan for 2021 will focus on freshwater larviciding, catch basin treatments, and WNV and EEE virus intervention. Catch basins will be treated with bacteria. Phase I of mosquito virus testing began on June 15 and will continue until August 1, and Phase II will last from August 1 to October 1.
Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control will provide Manchester with recommendations for virus intervention in specific areas as needed.
Essex will not opt out of the state mosquito control plan for 2021. If a documented public health threat arises in or near Essex, which could mean that multiple residents contracted EEE or West Nile virus, the state will begin emergency spraying. This occurs strictly in cases of a documented health concern.
Essex will continue to clean catch basins and remind residents of their own responsibility to clean their property for potential standing water, repair their window screens, and cover their skin during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are the most active.
The Essex BOH encourages residents to remain mindful of their surroundings in order to protect themselves and others from mosquito-borne illness.
Residents who wish to request that their yard be excluded from the state spraying program can fill out a property exclusion form here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/request-for-exclusion-from-wide-area-application-of-pesticides.
Downtown Improvement Committee
The Downtown Improvement Committee’s primary concern is facilitating beneficial infrastructure improvements in the downtown area.
Lately, the committee has been involved in plans for the upcoming passageway from the town parking lot to Beach Street. Additional issues include obtaining more porta-potties in town and adopting better parking enforcement to increase foot traffic, which would aid town merchants in recovering from the pandemic.
In the long term, the committee will be responsible for extending improvements to the street lights, curbs, and sidewalks in upper downtown if significant additional funds are available for such a project.
The group aims to become more closely attuned to the business community. It prioritizes initiating and facilitating efforts by the town to support merchants as the pandemic comes to an end.
Members of the Downtown Improvement Committee have been conducting extensive discussions in conjunction with members of the community to ensure that businesses feel that the town is “doing things for them rather than to them.”
The committee hopes to act as a bridge between town officials and business owners going forward.
After a quiet fourth of July in 2020, Manchester’s patriotic festivities have returned for 2021.
The Red, White and Blue Pancake Breakfast, sponsored by the Rotary Club, will be held on Saturday, July 3 from 7:30-11:00 a.m. at Tuck’s Point. Tickets are available for purchase at manchesteressexrotary.org, in front of the Post Office on Saturday mornings, or at the Parks and Recreation office at Town Hall.
In lieu of the traditional July 4th parade, the July 4th Committee is holding a house decorating contest for houses that can be seen from the street. The deadline to enter the contest is July 1 at 5:00 p.m., and an entrance form can be found on the town website’s form center. Participating homes will be listed on social media for the public to view from their cars between Saturday, July 3 at 12:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 4 at 5:00 p.m. Pictures of the houses will be posted after the event, and contest winners will be revealed on social media and in The Cricket.
A July 4th Concert in the Park will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Masconomo Park. The Compaq Big Band will perform.
Following their Zero Waste Challenge in April, the Sustainability Committee is continuing to focus on waste reduction.
The committee aims to promote community action on the plastics ban, which bans the use of single-use plastic bags by businesses in Manchester. Some businesses have faced challenges finding compostable takeout containers and alternatives to plastic.
Because the town’s contract is up with its current waste management services, the Sustainability Committee has been involved with waste management decisions by providing information and guidance about goals for transparency in recycling and trash services.
In order to promote recycling and composting, the committee will soon partner with Manchester Essex schools. In the fall, the committee plans to host a waste-free potluck and movie with the Manchester Essex Regional High School Green Team. The event will be geared towards emphasizing the importance of sustainability in the community.
Many of the committee’s initiatives center around education: which items may be recycled and which items, like styrofoam, are not recyclable but are often tossed in recycling bins to contaminate them.
Tables with information and handouts about recycling and composting will be present at an August 17 concert at Masconomo Park and outside the Post Office in July.
The dinghy docks at Tuck’s Point are being repaired after a storm damaged access to the docks two years ago.
In assessing the damage, engineers found that the docks needed to be condemned. The ramp and floats had been non-compliant since 1896, when the dock last had a permit. The town was unable to receive emergency repair monies from the state government because of the dock’s non-compliance.
Harbormaster Bion Pike said the permitting process is almost complete, and the town is now in possession of an $811,000 grant, which covers 80% of the dock’s repair cost. Pilings and a new ramp have been purchased, and Pike hopes to secure a contractor for the project within the next month.
The project has a greater significance than the dock itself; its non-compliance prevents any other projects from taking place in that area of the harbor.
The dock is anticipated to be complete by next spring, and construction will begin after Labor Day, so the project will not impact boating in and out of the harbor this season.