Organization of Town Government

EQUINOX COLUMNS

Manchester Town government is divided into departments and offices, which provide services to the Town of Manchester, as well as the Village of Manchester with a few exceptions. The Village of Manchester provides road and sidewalk maintenance through its Highway Department and the Village maintains a separate Zoning Office and zoning regulations. Please direct questions about Village roads and zoning to the Village of Manchester at (802) 362-1515 or email info@villageofmanchester.com.

Town Departments include the Police Department, Fire Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Department of Public Works and the Water and Sewer departments. Offices include the Office of the Town Manager (including the Operations Division), Town Clerk’s Office, Zoning and Planning Office, Emergency Management Office, Assessing Office, Economic Development Office, and Accounting and Finance Office.

Most departments and offices are managed by a department head, who reports to the Town Manager. The Town Manager reports to the elected five-member Selectboard. Visit the Contact Us page for employee specific contact information and the Administration page for biographical information about Town officials.

General Information

The mailing address for all Town departments and offices is 6039 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255. The fax number for most departments is (802) 362-1314. The Police Department fax number is (802) 362-0203.

Please note that non-emergency Town offices are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Administrative Offices

Office of the Town Manager is responsible for overall day-to-day management of Town government. Manchester operates under a Selectboard-Town Manager form of government, whereby the elected Selectboard serves as the Town’s chief elected legislative body; the Town Manager reports to the Selectboard and acts as the municipality’s chief administrative officer. Under this system of government, the Selectboard sets policy and the Town Manager implements policy and oversees the day-to-day operations of town government. The Town Manager does not supervise independently elected officers, such as the Town Clerk, Treasurer, Moderator and Board of Listers or the School District.

Statutorily, a Town Manager’s duties include, among other things, general supervision of town government, administrative head of all departments; all duties not committed to another office; general purchasing agent; management of all town buildings including school buildings upon requisition of the board of school directors; acting as the road commissioner; town accounting; management of the police and fire departments (including appointments, removals and salaries); collector of taxes; managing Town licenses (other than those issued by the town clerk); overseeing the sewer system; overseeing street lighting; and managing the maintenance of parks. In Manchester, the Town Manager also serves as the tax collector and delinquent tax collector.

Operations Division & Human Resources are located within the Office of the Town Manager and are responsible for providing general services such as accounts payable, payroll, tax and utility billing and collection, procurement, and employee relations (including recruitment).

The Office of the Town Manager is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The Town Manager’s Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 2).

Town Clerk’s Office is responsible for the administration of all elections, the recording of land records, the filing and indexing of all births, death & marriages, all liens, surveys and a myriad of other documents.  In addition, the Clerk’s office issues fish and game licenses, dog licenses and motor vehicle re-registrations.  Voter registration is yet another important facet of this office. The Town Clerk is elected to three year terms. The Town Clerk’s Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Email general questions to clerk@manchester-vt.gov. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 1). The Town Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Assessing Office establishes the value of all properties, for taxation purposes, located in the Town of Manchester and Village of Manchester. The Assessing Office does not set the tax rate or collect taxes.  The municipal tax rate is set by the Selectboard based on the budget approved by Town Meeting and the Grand List approved by Assessor and Selectboard. The Grand List is, essentially, a list of all properties and associated values. Taxes are collected by the tax collector, who is the Town Manager in Manchester. The Assessing Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 5). The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Zoning & Planning Office, which includes the Director of Zoning and Planning and the Economic Development Officer, is responsible for short- and long-range planning, issuing building permits, grant writing, managing community-wide land use, environmental affairs and natural resource protection, and economic development, and coordinating land use reviews with local, regional, state, and federal agencies. The Zoning and Planning Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 3). The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Economic Development Office was created in 2011 by the Selectboard and charged with encouraging economic growth in Manchester. The Office works closely with the Town Manager, Zoning and Planning Office, regional and statewide agencies and local businesses. To learn more about relocating or growing your business in Manchester visit the Town’s economic development website. The Economic Development Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1373. Please call for an appointment or email p.moore@manchester-vt.gov.

Finance & Accounting Office assists the Town Manager and Treasurer with overall management of Town finances, accounting, internal auditing, financial reporting and managing the Town’s general ledger. The Finance and Accounting Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 4). The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Town Treasurer is independently elected and is responsible for overall management of cash flow and distributing payments authorized by the Selectboard and Town Manager. The Treasurer also works closely with the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) to manage the Town’s financial investments. The Town Treasurer is elected to three year terms. The Town Treasurer’s Office is located at Town Hall, 6039 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 4). The Town Treasurer is available by appointment.

Public Safety Departments

firefighter 2Police Department is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the Town’s residents and visitors, investigating crimes, patrolling roads and highways via patrol car, bicycle and foot and providing animal control services. The Department is comprised of eight full-time, sworn police officers and four full-time dispatchers. The Department also includes numerous part-time, sworn police officers and dispatchers. The Police Department is located in the Manchester Public Safety Facility, 6041 Main Street in Manchester. Telephone number is (802) 362-2121. The Department is open 24-hours a day.

Fire Department is comprised of approximately forty dedicated volunteers. The Fire Department is located in the Manchester Public Safety Facility, 6041 Main Street in Manchester.  Telephone number is (802) 362-2121.The Fire Chief is available by appointment. Visit the Fire Department’s website to learn more about the Manchester Fire Department.

16Emergency Management Office is responsible for coordinating and planning responses to all Town emergencies. The Emergency Management Office is also charged with managing the Manchester Emergency Operations Center (MEOC). The Office is located in the Manchester Public Safety Facility, 6041 Main Street in Manchester.  Telephone number is (802) 362-2121.

The Town Manager serves as the Town’s Emergency Management Director (EMD), a position established under State law (20 V.S.A. §6). In Manchester the Town Manager appoints a part-time Emergency Management Coordinator to assist in planning and managing emergencies, and other part-time and volunteer officers such as the public information officer. The Emergency Management Coordinator is available by appointment.

The Town of Manchester adheres to the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Town employees and officials have received basic, advanced and specialized training under NIMS. Most emergencies are coordinated from the Manchester Emergency Operations Center (MEOC), located inside the Town’s Public Safety Facility. The MEOC is a state-of-the-art nine hundred square foot facility, complete with communications equipment. When the MEOC is not being used to manage emergencies the facility is using for conferences, meetings and training for public safety personnel.

The Town Manager authorizes the opening of the MEOC during an emergency and appoints an Incident Commander (IC), who oversees the operations of a particular emergency. The Town of Manchester has mutual aid agreements with neighboring towns as well as the Village of Manchester.

Town Services

lye brook fallsParks & Recreation Department is responsible for operation of Town-owned parks and recreation programs and activities. Day-to-day maintenance of parks was transferred to the Department of Public Works in 2008. The Parks and Recreation Department works closely with the Parks and Recreation Department Advisory Committee, which serves as the advisory committee to the Department, the Selectboard and Town Manager. For more information about programs, registration, facility reservations, and to make online payments visit the Department’s program and registration site. The Department’s operating hours vary depending on the season and programming needs, but the office is generally open from at least 9:00 to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Telephone number is (802) 362-1439. Email general questions to parks@manchester-vt.gov. The Department’s office is located at the new Park House, 340 Recreation Park Road in Manchester Center. 

Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving Town-owned roads, bridges, parks, grounds and buildings as well as the Town-owned Factory Point Cemetery.  The DPW, the backbone of Town government, was formed in 2008 out of the former Highway Department as part of an overall reorganization of Town departments. The Department operates from 6:00 AM to 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday during the winter and 6:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Thursday during the summer. Telephone number is (802) 362-3283. Report emergencies to the 24-hour dispatch center at (802) 362-2121. The Department is headquartered at the Town Garage, 140 Town Shed Road in Manchester Center.

Water & Sewer Departments are responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the Town-owned water distribution system and sewer collection and treatment system. The water system, which was purchased from a private party in 1982, was substantially upgraded in 1985. The Town also has a sewage treatment facility. Two separate boards oversee the departments. The five-person Selectboard serves as the Board of Sewer Commissioners and the Selectboard appoints a three-person Board of Water Commissioners.

Questions about billing should be directed to Kathleen Yanez, Finance Administrator, at (802) 362-1313 (option 2) or k.yanez@manchester-vt.gov. Parties interested in connecting to the Town’s water or sewer system should contact John O’Keefe, Town Manager, at (802) 362-1313 (option 2) or j.okeefe@manchester-vt.gov. The Town contracts with Dufresne Group for engineering services. The engineer assigned to the Town of Manchester is Christina Haskins, who can be contacted at (802) 768-8291 or chaskins@dufresnegroup.com.

The Department operates from 6:00 AM to 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday during the winter and 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Thursday and Friday 6:00 AM to Noon during the summer. Telephone number is (802) 362-1313 (option 2). Report emergencies to the 24-hour dispatch center at (802) 362-2121. The Water and Sewer departments are headquartered at the Sewer Treatment Plant, 136 Battenkill Lane in Manchester Village.

Health Officer is responsible for investigating possible public health hazards and risks within the Town of Manchester, taking action to prevent, remove or destroy any such hazards, taking action to mitigate significant public health risks and enforcing health laws and rules. Telephone number is (802) 362-2121 (general and emergencies).