NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 20, 2013

Selectmen extend Manzi's contract

Selectmen made a move recently that indicates they are pleased with the performance of new Town Manager Bill Manzi. At their meeting last week, the board voted unanimously to extend Manzi’s two-year contract to three years.

Although the details, such as salary, are yet to be negotiated, the selectmen praised Manzi’s work ethic and methods. Selectmen said the new budget format Manzi developed this year made the creation of the next budget easier. And Selectman Aboul Khan was pleased with Manzi’s efforts during last weekend’s storm. Manzi was in town, Khan said, and driving local streets to check on their safety level.

Manzi, who took over as Town Manager in July, says he’s happy with his job in Seabrook and enjoys the community and its residents greatly.

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On Tuesday, Jan. 7, the Planning Board will hold a follow up meeting on the rezoning of the northern section of Route 1 beyond the Route 107 intersection. If developed as a zoning amendment, it would be on the March Town Warrant for voter approval.

The new zoning, if passed, would reduce the size of new buildings allowed in the area, to prevent more “big box” retailers from coming in. One of the amendment’s goals would be to prevent the increase in traffic at the intersection and along Route 1, which already endures heavy traffic. Traffic will increase even more when two approved shopping centers open in the next several years.

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Selectmen approved a request from Seabrook Historical Society president Eric Small to sponsor an article on the March warrant, requesting voters’ permission for $30,000 to replace the clapboards in the Old South Meeting House.

Built in 1764, Old South Meeting House served as a place of worship originally, but when a second story was added, it acted as Seabrook’s Town Hall from 1768 to 1954, Small said. But today, the exterior of the building is in disarray and its clapboards show serious signs of deterioration.

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