Community Profile

The Community of Dartmouth, located in Southeastern Massachusetts, is comprised of a land mass of sixty-four square miles making it the fifth largest Town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The year round population of Dartmouth is twenty-nine thousand people. The Community consists of a scenic coastline that borders Buzzard's Bay and numerous coastal estuaries including the Slocum River, Little River, Apponagansett River and Clark's Cove.  The northern part of Town is a historic rural environment comprised of scenic forest lands, with residential homes nestled within the area.  The Community is the home to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a four year institution with numerous colleges of study and the University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth.  The commercial district of the Community is comprised of a good cross section of local and nationally-recognized businesses and serves as a regional shopping area.  The Community is traversed by Massachusetts State Highway Route 6 and just to the north by U.S. Interstate 195.  Two exits from the Interstate, Reed Road (Exit 11) and Faunce Corner Road (Exit 12), are the major access points from Interstate 195.

The Community presents a diversity of activity and environments for its residents and visitors. The coastal environment to the south is bordered by a significant number of large agricultural farms that have land rolling to the ocean's edge.  This layout presents the most beautiful, pristine, scenic environment reminiscent of how life existed one-hundred years ago when Dartmouth was solely an agricultural Community. 

The coastline has a number of Town and State beaches for public recreation.  Significant efforts have been undertaken to preserve the rural and agricultural character of the Community.  The northern portion of Town contains the Town Forest and other significant land holdings that are being analyzed for development as both passive and active recreational uses to meet the needs of our growing Community. Dartmouth has multiple Industrial Parks with available land for development, serviced by municipal water, sewer and gas all at a tax rate that is one of the lowest in Massachusetts.  All are located minutes from Interstate 195 and are obtainable at a very reasonable cost.  Dartmouth participates in the Massachusetts Economic Development Program, is a member of the Economic Target Area, has five Economic Opportunity Areas and has negotiated five Tax Increment Financing Agreements for major companies who have built in Dartmouth.  We can work effectively and efficiently with Industry.

The Governmental Organization Structure of the Community consists of a Representative Town Meeting with three hundred sixty-nine representatives that are elected by the voters of the Community at the Annual Election each year.  Town Meetings are held, historically, two to three times a year to act on the legislative needs of the Community.  The Executive Branch of Government is comprised of a five member Select Board who meet on Monday evenings in the John Marland Meeting Room located on the third floor at Town Hall.   The chief administrative responsibilities are carried out by the Executive Administrator, a position that is set up in a Town Charter.  The chief financial duties of the Community, as prescribed in the Charter, are carried out by the Director of Budget and Finance / Treasurer, a position that is appointed by the Select Board.  The Town has a full time administrative governmental structure that operates on a day-to-day basis at the Dartmouth Town Hall.  The Office of the Select Board is located on the Third Floor of Town Hall Room 303.  Our phone number is (508) 910-1813 and the fax number is (508) 910-1839.  We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our Town.

By Michael J. Gagné
Former Executive Administrator to the Dartmouth Select Board

and David G. Cressman
Town Administrator to the Dartmouth Select Board