Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Manchester & Dorset Issue Public Safety Study RFP

Lee Krohn
Town of Manchester
The two towns are looking to consolidate services such as law enforcement, fire, medical emergency and municipal emergency management.

The towns of Dorsetand Manchester are looking for help in proceeding with a public safety study. The end goal is a plan that will save both towns money by consolidating services such as law enforcement, fire, medical emergency and municipal emergency management.

The towns recently issued a joint Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking help studying the matter from professional firms and academic institutions. The RFP summary states:

The Town of Dorset and Town of Manchester, Vermont seek responses from qualified professional and academic organizations to analyze and make recommendations about governance, management and administration of police services, fire services, emergency medical services and emergency management regarding possible consolidation and collaboration between the Town of Dorset and Town of Manchester.

Last December the two towns approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that created a Public Safety Workgroup to oversee the effort. At Town Meeting in March, both towns voted to move forward and fund the study.

Both Manchester and Dorset have pointed to the statewide education tax system and the impetus for the proposed consolidation of public safety services. That sentiment is reiterated in the MOU:

Both towns are so-called “sending towns” under the state-wide education property tax system. This [means] that the towns contribute more money to the system than receive back from the system, which has placed an increased burden on local property taxpayers. On the municipal side, both towns have low municipal tax rates.

And while cost containment is the primary focus of the effort, both towns also have an interest in stepping up law enforcement efforts. The MOU states Bennington County "is seeing an increase in drug-related crimes":

The genesis for this study comes with motivations specific to each Town. In the case of Dorset, an increase in property thefts in recent years has caused Dorset to reassess its provision of law enforcement services. In the case of Manchester, the Town is seeking increased public safety services, long-term sustainability and cost containment typically associated with consolidation and regionalization of public safety services.

RFP responses are due by June 3. The towns hope to have the study complete by the end of November.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
Latest Stories