Frequently Asked Questions
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, residents in both the City of Manchester and a proposed unincorporated area of St. Louis County have the opportunity to vote on growing the City. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the proposal to provide more and better services at a lower cost.
SECTION: ABOUT ANNEXATION
WHAT IS ANNEXATION?
When residents vote for a city to annex an unincorporated area of the county, it means the city extends its boundaries to include that area of the county.
Those who live in the annexation area become residents of the city and gain access to city services such as public safety, trash removal, snow removal, and other municipal services that were previously unavailable or provided by the county. They also receive locally elected representation within the city government on boards and commissions.
GROWING MANCHESTER: OUR FUTURE TOGETHER?
Growing Manchester: Our Future Together is a community-led initiative to bring our community together to learn more about and provide feedback on the City of Manchester’s proposed annexation of a neighboring portion of unincorporated St. Louis County.
Our goal is to encourage community members within the City of Manchester and the proposed annexation area to actively participate and share their thoughts and opinions while encouraging them to make informed decisions by ensuring they have access to relevant information about the annexation plan.
HOW DID THE ANNEXATION PROPOSAL ORIGINATE?
Over the past 30 years, Manchester has annexed portions of St. Louis County twice. In fact, more than two-thirds of the City of Manchester was once part of unincorporated St. Louis County.
Manchester’s history of growth equips the City with a foundation of knowledge and experience to navigate this process. The City has shown its effectiveness in providing a well-managed transition as new communities are welcomed to Manchester.
Currently, the City of Manchester is inviting a neighboring area of unincorporated St. Louis County to join the City through an annexation vote in November 2023. This process for annexation started in 2018. A timeline is shown below:
2018: Maps filed with St. Louis County Boundary Commission
2020: Fiscal feasibility study completed
2021-2022: Community meetings held and community input gathered
2022: Plan of Intent (POI) submitted to St. Louis County Boundary Commission
2023: Commission approves plan to be placed on ballot
Community Vote (Nov. 7)
2024: If approved, Manchester begins providing services to new area
WHY DOES THE CITY OF MANCHESTER WANT TO ANNEX ANOTHER PORTION OF UNINCORPORATED ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
Numerous factors contributed to the City's decision to pursue annexation, but the foremost reason is because we believe the annexation will enable the City to better serve our community and those wishing to join it. If approved, the annexation will create cost savings by lowering costs for basic municipal services for newly incorporated residents and reducing property tax rates for current residents. There will also be cost savings associated with efficiencies of scale, the City will be able to provide even more and better services at a lower cost per resident. New residents bring with them new ideas and energy, an added benefit for current Manchester residents.
WHY WOULD THIS AREA BE ANNEXED BY MANCHESTER AND NOT DES PERES, TOWN & COUNTRY OR ANOTHER MUNICIPALITY?
No other city has expressed genuine interest in annexing this area now or in the foreseeable future. Navigating the Boundary Commission process typically requires several years, and thus far, no other city has taken any steps in that direction.
Specifically, the City of Des Peres has its own fire department, rather than receiving fire and EMS service from the West County EMS & Fire Protection District. According to state statute, if a city annexes any area served by a fire protection district, it must make payments in lieu of taxes to the fire district. Many cities are unable to incur this additional cost and do not pursue annexation for this reason.
WHAT SIZE WILL MANCHESTER BE IF THE ANNEXATION IS APPROVED?
After annexation, Manchester would have about the same population as Kirkwood or Webster Groves and still be smaller than Wildwood or Ballwin. If approved, residents of the annexed area and the City of Manchester will receive better services at a lower cost. Refer to the chart below to see how the city would grow in acreage, population and homes. View a map of the proposed annexation area by clicking here.
Acreage of Area
Homes (Dwelling Units)
HOW WILL THE ANNEXATION APPEAR ON THE NOV. 7 ELECTION BALLOT?
On Nov. 7, 2023, residents of the City of Manchester and a part of unincorporated St. Louis County will vote on Proposition A.
If more than 50% of the residents of the City and more than 50% of the residents of the proposed annexation area vote in favor of the proposal, the annexation will go into effect six months after the election results are certified by St. Louis County and the City of Manchester. If the proposal is voted down in either area, then the annexation will not move forward.
All registered voters in the City of Manchester and the proposed annexation area will be eligible to vote.
The ballot language will look like this:
Shall the City of Manchester annex the area adjacent to it as described in the legal description and map contained in the Boundary Commission's Summary of Decision, Commission Number BC2201, known as the Manchester Annexation Area?
HOW WILL THE ANNEXATION IMPACT RESIDENTS OF THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION AREA?
If approved, residents of the proposed area will be able to access better and more services at lower costs, while being part of a City where decisions and tax dollars are kept local.
It is estimated that residents of the unincorporated area will save approximately $206 per year if annexation is approved. Here’s a look at some of the amenities and benefits of being a resident of Manchester.
In comparison to the current services provided by St. Louis County, the City of Manchester provides:
Faster police response times;
Reliable, and less expensive, once-a-week trash service that includes trash, recycling, yard waste and bulk pickup on the same day;
Superior-quality sidewalk and street repair;
Streetlight maintenance and repairs, deer carcass removal, holiday tree disposal, stormwater and stream bank remediation, and limb-chipping at no additional cost,
Faster, more reliable snow removal; and
Regular newsletters listing City programs and activities
Parks programs at a reduced (resident) rate
Easy access to Mayor, Board of Aldermen, and City staff
Results from an online survey conducted in May and June 2023 demonstrate the difference in satisfaction levels among local residents:
Residents ranking service quality as good or excellent
City of Manchester Residents
Residents of Proposed Annexation Area
Stormwater and creek channel management
Residential street and sidewalk maintenance and upkeep
Park and recreation programs and services
Providing a scandal free government
For a deeper look at what the City offers and the cost comparisons, scroll to the end of the FAQs.
HOW WILL THE ANNEXATION IMPACT CURRENT MANCHESTER RESIDENTS?
If annexation is approved, it is estimated that the average current Manchester resident will save around $100 a year.
Growing a municipality through annexation increases the overall assessed value of property in the City. As a result, the added value of property increases the revenue that is collected from a property tax. According to state statute, when an increase in a municipality’s overall assessed property value occurs, that city’s revenue from a property tax may only increase at a rate adjusted for inflation. When the amount of revenue exceeds what is allowed, the municipality must adjust its property tax rates downward.
Because the overall assessed values of property in Manchester will increase by approximately 50 percent following annexation, the City will be required to lower its property tax rates. This will result in a City property tax decrease of $100 or more for current Manchester residents.
The City of Manchester's sales, property and utility tax rates and cable franchise fee will remain the same if annexation is approved. Unincorporated residents would begin paying City property tax and businesses would begin collecting the City sales tax, providing further financial health to the City and enabling the City to maintain and enhance its level of service to all residents. View more information on Manchester’s strong financial status below, on the question about how the annexation will save money.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I SAVE IF ANNEXATION IS APPROVED?
It is estimated that the average resident in the annexation area will save approximately $206 and City residents will save around $100. Curious about what your estimated savings will be after annexation goes into effect? Click here to access the Post-Annexation Savings Calculator for newly incorporated residents and current Manchester residents.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TAX RATES IN MANCHESTER AND ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
City of Manchester
Missouri Sales Tax
St. Louis County Sales Tax
City of Manchester Sales Tax
Sewer Lateral Fee
*Rate based on participation in Newly Incorporated Resident Incentive Program
HOW WOULD THE ANNEXATION IMPACT THE COST OF PERSONAL PROPERTY LIKE BOATS AND CARS FOR THOSE WHO CURRENTLY LIVE IN THE ANNEXATION AREA?
Personal property taxes would slightly increase by .05% after a resident takes advantage of the Newly Incorporated Resident Grant Program. For example, for a resident with $15,000 in assessed real property value, the impact on their personal property taxes would be approximately $7.50.
WHAT IS THE NEWLY INCORPORATED RESIDENT GRANT PROGRAM?
If annexation is approved, the Newly Incorporated Resident Grant Program will help those living in areas that have recently been added to the City.
Here's how it works. When the City takes on new projects, like improving streets or sidewalks, it sometimes pays for these projects with bonds. Residents of the City then repay these bonds over time through a portion of their property taxes. However, if you live in an area that was added to the City after these projects were completed, you wouldn't have gotten any benefits from them. The City recognizes this and thinks it's fair to give you some money back.
Through the Newly Incorporated Resident Grant Program, residents in the newly annexed area will receive a grant, which is like a refund, on the portion of their property taxes that is going towards paying off bonds from the 2018 Prop. S street improvement bonds. It's a way to make sure everyone is paying a fair share for the benefits they receive from living in the City.
To claim the grant, the property owner must complete a grant form and submit it along with a copy of their property tax receipts to Manchester City Hall. The City of Manchester will review the submitted grant form and tax receipt to ensure the information is accurate and the resident is eligibe for the grant. Once approved, a check will be issued to the name and address entered on the form. In subsequent years, property owners in the annexed area will need to obtain the form and appropriate tax receipt, and submit the application to the City of Manchester. The grant program will be in place until the bonds associated with Prop. S are retired. At this time, the City of Manchester is planning on retiring these bonds by 2040.
WHAT DOES MANCHESTER’S FINANCIAL FUTURE LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
St. Louis County is facing financial challenges, while Manchester’s strong financial picture remains stable. More than 65% of Manchester residents think the City is using tax dollars efficiently. Manchester's strong finances are driven by three factors:
Staff, board and committee oversight;
Business outreach and retention; and
Resident involvement and award-winning financial transparency.
The City uses local revenue to lower the cost of services like trash pickup for residents, street lighting and parks and recreation programs.
Take a look at the City of Manchester’s recent history of revenues and expenditures in its General Operating Fund:
A City’s fund balance is similar to a savings account.
If you live in the City of Manchester, most of your property taxes fund a variety of services including schools, the fire district and community college. Below is a breakdown of where a resident’s tax dollars go:
62% - Parkway and Valley Park School District
16% - West County EMS & Fire Protection District
9% - St. Louis County
6% - St. Louis Community College and the Zoo
4% - Manchester (3.5% to debt service levy and 0.5% to operating fund)
3% State of Missouri, Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), Productive Living Board (PLB)
To learn more about the City’s finances, review financial statements and see our audits visit our website: www.manchestermo.gov/153/Finance.
HOW DOES TRASH SERVICE IN MANCHESTER DIFFER FROM THAT IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
The City includes more reliable, comprehensive trash service at a lower cost than St. Louis County as shown in the chart below:
Expanded, Economical Trash Removal
City of Manchester
St. Louis County (Unincorporated)
Included in monthly fee
Included in monthly fee
Included in monthly fee
Included in monthly fee
Included in monthly fee
2 items per week scheduled in advance
Renovation/repair debris pick-up
Included in monthly fee
Holiday tree pickup
Provided for free by City
All trash pickups on same day of the week in neighborhood
Average Cost Per Household Annually
HOW DOES STREET AND SIDEWALK MAINTENANCE IN MANCHESTER DIFFER FROM THAT IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
Stable finances allow Manchester to make long-term commitments to maintaining its roads and sidewalks. Over the past seven years, the City has invested $40 million in public infrastructure and improvements. In contrast, St. Louis County is facing a $44 million deficit, looming replacement of its government center and other fiscal challenges.
Manchester’s responsive, proactive Public Works department is focused on keeping residents and visitors safe while making faster, high-quality repairs to our streets and sidewalks that hold up to daily wear and tear. A few examples of the City’s proactive, approach:
Manchester doesn’t use asphalt on its sidewalks. The City uses three different processes: grinding, mudjacking, and replacement.
Manchester replaces deteriorated sidewalks and curb ramps, levels slabs to reduce tripping hazards and ponding water, and constructs new sidewalks and curb ramps. This includes more than $1 million in sidewalk repairs since 2020.
The City’s street repair program goes far beyond the type of patch and repair that the County can afford for its unincorporated areas.
Manchester doesn’t chip seal asphalt streets. The City’s Asphalt Street Resurfacing program resurfaces deteriorated full-depth asphalt paved streets by removing the top 2 inches of the pavement through a milling process and placing a new long-lasting hot mix asphalt-wearing surface.
The City’s Concrete Street Slab Replacement program replaces isolated or connected concrete street slab failures at various locations throughout the city.
City streets are annually rated using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) scale and categorized in their need for repair from best to worst.
The City regularly goes out within 24-hours, or less, to assess and inspect a resident inquiry that is called in. On average, most inquiries, such as potholes or other minor infrastructure improvements, are completed within 48-hours of the inquiry.
In 2019, the City’s Public Works Department was voted the best public works department in St. Louis County by member cities of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis.
If annexation is approved, the City plans to invest over $3 million in capital improvements in the proposed annexation area by 2026.
WHEN WILL THE CITY’S EFFORT TO MAKE CARMAN RD. SAFER AND MORE WALKABLE BE COMPLETE?
The City of Manchester is investing $350,000 and secured a $1.4 million grant to make Carman Road safer and more walkable. At the project’s completion in 2026, there will be a new, continuous sidewalk and curb ramps along the north and south side of Carman Road from Barretts Elementary School to Carman Trails Elementary School.
The City reached out to the Area Engineer from the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Transportation, proposing a partnership considering the jurisdictional division of Carman Road between the unincorporated area of St. Louis County (northside) and the City of Manchester (southside). Since Carman Road and its sidewalks fall under St. Louis County's jurisdiction, the City offered to fund the engineering aspect and jointly apply for available infrastructure funding. However, St. Louis County cited a significant backlog in road maintenance and an increasing inability to fund and maintain current sidewalk upkeep, leading Manchester to pursue the project independently.
The project includes:
Addition of sidewalks where there are gaps;
Replacement of 4-foot sidewalks with 5-foot sidewalks;
Maintenance of existing 4- to 20-foot tree lawn area except in the limited areas with retaining walls, where a 6’ sidewalk will be constructed at the back of the curb; and
Addition of a crosswalk and flashing safety beacon for pedestrian crossings at Carman Road and Stone Canyon Drive, providing improved safety for students walking to Barretts Elementary School.
WHAT KINDS OF PARKS AND RECREATION PROGRAMS DOES MANCHESTER OFFER?
Nearly 90% of Manchester residents think the quality of the City’s park and recreation programs and services are good or excellent. Manchester offers hundreds of different recreational and educational opportunities for all ages at its six parks and throughout the community including:
Adult Sports: Running Club, Yoga, Disc Golf, Pickleball
Basketball, Tennis, Pickleball and Sand Volleyball Courts
Manchester Arts and FOCUS Photography Competition
Manchester Community Band
Summer Concert Series
Sustainability and Ecology Activities
Youth and Adult Art Programs and Classes
Youth Sports Tennis, T-Ball, Soccer, Swimming
Youth, Family and Senior Programs and Events
To learn more about Manchester’s Parks & Recreation programs visit: https://www.manchestermo.gov/156/Parks-Recreation-Arts
WHAT DISCOUNTS DO MANCHESTER RESIDENTS RECEIVE ON PARKS & RECREATION SERVICES?
Residents in the annexation area will enjoy the discounted Manchester resident rate for various activities, programs, and classes offered by the Parks & Recreation Department including:
Programs and classes
Aquatic Center admission
Reduced resident rates vary, but examples include:
Adult Aquatics Center Pass
Family Aquatics Center Pass
Room Facility Rental
IF ANNEXATION IS APPROVED WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LOVE PARK?
The City will further explore maintaining and investing in St. Louis County’s Love Park.The addition of Love Park would significantly increase the size of the City’s park system and would have the potential to be a showcase of the City’s park system.
For the City to take over maintenance of Love Park, it will also need to take over ownership of the park. It is the City’s understanding that a transfer of ownership from St. Louis County to Manchester will require a positive vote by St. Louis County residents. The City will have further discussions with St. Louis County about the possible transfer of ownership and discuss ways to utilize the park for expanded programming in the meantime.
While the City will not take ownership of the park following a successful annexation, the City’s police department will increase the security of the park by performing regular patrols of it.
HOW DOES MANCHESTER TYPICALLY CLEAR ALL OF ITS STREETS WITHIN FOUR HOURS OF A WINTER WEATHER EVENT?When there is an ice or snow storm, or both, snow and ice removal is a matter of public safety. Slick roads are dangerous roads.
The City of Manchester’s snow removal service is headquartered in our community, close by, ready to quickly clear our roads when winter weather hits.
Fully-staffed Public Works department has a deep knowledge of our local streets, and can easily prioritize high-traffic areas for snow removal, and provide multiple passes with its plows.
Residents can easily call or email the city’s Public Works department with any concerns.
Staff work around the clock on weekends and/or holidays to keep roads clear.
The City goal is to have all city-maintained streets passable within 4 hours after the end of a winter weather event.
HOW DOES POLICE SERVICE IN MANCHESTER DIFFER FROM THAT IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
The City of Manchester’s police officers are community-focused and available to protect and serve. Our police understand the unique needs of the residents they serve, and our police chief is only a call away if residents or business owners have any questions or concerns.
The Manchester Police Department’s size and location allows us to quickly adjust services to meet the changing needs of our residents. Our community shows a high level of support and satisfaction, with 89.3% of residents saying they receive good or excellent service from Manchester Police.
Here are a few examples of ways our police go above and beyond for our community:
Our detectives have the time and resources to prioritize the safety of our community by addressing all issues, including fraud and car break-ins, unlike other departments that are forced to focus on high-profile or serious crimes because of a lack of resources and higher crime rates.
Manchester officers provide free checks on the homes of residents who advise that they will be away from home on vacation.
Residents who are disabled, senior citizens, or who may face medical emergencies can register to receive a free, daily automated phone call from the Dispatch Center to check on their well-being.
Below is more information outlining the benefits of being served by Manchester Police should annexation be approved by residents.
City of Manchester
St. Louis County
Average Response Time
4 minutes emergency
7 minutes non-emergency
5.99 minutes emergency*
Data not provided for non-emergency
7 square miles
100+ square miles
Additional 12 officers added if annexation is approved
Number of officers per resident
1 for every 500 residents
If annexation is approved.
1 for every 2,300 residents
Number of officers patrolling area
7 for 7 square miles
6 for 100+ square miles
*Response times over 15 minutes were omitted from the report provided by St. Louis County.
Below is a map showing travel distances for police response. The map is from Page 51 of the Plan of Intent (POI).
HOW WOULD ANNEXATION IMPACT MY FIRE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES?
Fire and emergency medical services will not be impacted by the annexation. Fire and emergency medical services are provided by West County EMS & Fire Protection District, which is a separate government entity which is not involved in the annexation.
HOW DO STORMWATER PROJECTS IN MANCHESTER DIFFER FROM THAT IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
Manchester has a dedicated Recreation and Stormwater sales tax for park and stormwater projects, which the Public Works Department oversees. Stormwater projects are identified and prioritized for funding through a regular planning program. These projects provide relief for flooding and run-off issues on public and private property by installing needed stormwater infrastructure and stabilizing creek banks that are threatening the property of residents..
Since 2017, the average annual funds spent on these projects has been approximately $800,000 per year. A recent stormwater project in Manchester’s Chadwick Subdivision cost just over $160,000 with zero cost to the homeowners affected.
HOW DOES BEING A PART OF MANCHESTER SAVE MONEY ON STREETLIGHTS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD?
Manchester pays for electricity for public, right-of-way, streetlights on City streets. The City will also pay to have new lights installed if an application is approved. If multiple requests are received for new streetlights, priority of request is followed in a given year.
If annexation is approved, the City will assume the costs for 577 lights in the public right-of-way in the annexed area, a savings of $69,875 for neighborhood homeowner associations per year.
WHAT OTHER CITY SERVICES DOES MANCHESTER PROVIDE THAT THE COUNTY DOES NOT?
Document shredding: Manchester hosts at least one free document shredding event for residents each year. Residents may have up to five banker’s boxes and/or paper bags of personal documents shredded on-site for free.
Limb chipping and mulch: Manchester provides free curbside limb chipping for single family residences in the City twice per year. The wood chips are converted to mulch suitable for landscaping and are stockpiled at Seibert Park. The mulch, when available, is for pick up and use by all residents at no charge. Commercial use of this mulch is not allowed.
Deer carcass removal: The City provides free removal and disposal of dead deer from residential properties, streets and right-of-ways within Manchester.
HOW DOES MANCHESTER PARTNER WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY?
Manchester and St. Louis County maintain a strategic partnership to ensure City residents receive the best of both worlds. While every city in St. Louis County leverages county services to some extent, it's often based on broader needs that might not be efficient for Manchester to handle in-house, like running a jail or a public health department. Additionally, the county taps into federal and other grant opportunities not directly available to individual cities. However, these grant funds benefit the entire county, not only Manchester.
Yet, when it comes to essential day-to-day services - think trash collection, street maintenance, or parks programs - Manchester has a unique advantage. The City is positioned to deliver these services with higher quality and at a reduced cost to our residents. Even better, decisions about these services are made right here, not miles away in Clayton. So, our community has an influential voice in shaping them.
IF ANNEXATION IS APPROVED, HOW WILL MANCHESTER PROVIDE SERVICES TO MORE PEOPLE AND A LARGER AREA?
As outlined in Manchester’s Plan of Intent (pages 47 and 49 of POI), both the police and Public Works departments will add resources. Plans include adding 12 police officers, along with equipment and vehicles; and adding additional staff in the Public Works Department for maintenance, fleet maintenance and administrative needs, along with equipment. New sales tax revenue from the newly annexed area, and minimal real and personal property taxes will cover the costs for new employees and equipment.
HOW DOES LOCAL GOVERNMENT KEEP DECISIONS LOCAL IN MANCHESTER?
If you have a question or concern, our local government is right down the street and not in Clayton. In fact, the Mayor hosts regular “Conversations with the Mayor” events every other month where residents can discuss and ask questions about City initiatives in an open forum.
The Board of Aldermen is the elected governing body of the City of Manchester. It enacts legislation and citywide policies to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community.
Manchester is served by one mayor and two aldermen per ward, all of whom serve two-year terms. With annexation, approximately 6,500 new residents will be added to the City, which is roughly the number of residents in each of Manchester’s three wards. The City intends to add a fourth ward with two elected representatives serving on the Board of Aldermen ensuring your decisions are made by your neighbors at the local level.
The Board meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers at the Manchester Justice Center. In addition, Manchester has many resident-led City boards and commissions, including: Planning and Zoning, Board of Adjustment, Tree Board, Veterans Commission and the City’s Audit and Finance Committee.
Ratio of elected officials to residents
St. Louis County
City of Manchester
More than 67% of Manchester residents think things in the City of Manchester are headed in the right direction and 72% positively evaluated local government services and easy access to their leaders.
HOW CAN I PROVIDE FEEDBACK?
If you’d like to provide your feedback on this proposal, visit www.manchestermo.gov/annexfeedback to fill out an online form.
HOW CAN I ASK A QUESTION?
If you have a question, please call (636) 227-1385 x106 or complete this formwww.manchestermo.gov/annex-question.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
If you would like to get involved with Growing Manchester or help inform the community about the annexation plan, please email email@example.com or call (636) 227-1385 ext. 150.