The iconic Seaside No. 1 is getting a new paint job to kick off the summer. The last full exterior painting of the building took place in 2011.
The former firehouse, built in 1885, is now a tourist destination and historical museum in Manchester. For 76 years, it served as headquarters for the Manchester Police Department until the new headquarters was built in 1970. Since then, the building has remained under the care of the Manchester Historical Museum. Displayed inside the building are two antique fire engines, firefighting equipment, and artifacts from the fire and police departments.
In 2020, the town was awarded a CPA grant for maintenance of the building, but the repainting was delayed until this year due to the pandemic.
The repainting began on Friday, June 11 and is predicted to take less than one week to complete, weather permitting. In addition to the paint job, the former firehouse’s sign will be removed for a few weeks to be restored. The sign will look identical after its restoration.
As construction on the new Manchester Memorial Elementary School progresses, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee is pushing for safer routes to school and bike lanes on School Street, Lincoln Street, and the area around the school.
The new elementary school building will be operational in 2022, giving the town time to put new plans in place for the commute to school.
Since Manchester lacks crossing guards, the committee aims to make travel to and from school safer in addition to minimizing auto traffic and idling.
The committee is also considering the development of a bike lane on the segment of School Street near Route 128 and the possibility of drop-off points around the perimeter of Manchester that students could bike or walk from.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee is working in conjunction with the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program for consultation on safe practices and routes to school. The program may provide expertise and grant money for use towards safe biking and walking initiatives.
The committee received a grant from the Hooper Fund to purchase bike racks to place at trailheads and is working with the town and the Conservation Commission to plan proper placement for the racks.
Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control will begin mosquito surveillance and testing 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 the town with recommendations for virus intervention in specific areas as needed.
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.