Friday, April 9, 1999
Conservation commission seeks skilled tenant for Greenough farmstead
The conservation commission is looking for a win-win solution to the upgrading and maintenance of the small farm complex on Carlisle's 242-acre Greenough conservation land. In pursuit of that goal they are offering a single Warrant article at the May 4 Town Meeting and have drafted a Request for Proposals (RFP), hoping to attract a skilled and creative tenant for the farmstead.
The Warrant article asks voters to approve lease of the portion of the property that includes the somewhat dilapidated Greenough house, a winsome antique barn and three agricultural areas of approximately nine acres. The wording allows for a five-year lease of all or a portion of the property for "in-kind services" for five years, with the possibility of a five-year extension. The commission has dropped a proposed second article that would have provided for demolition of the farmhouse in the event an appropriate lessor could not be found.
The aim of the lease and thus of the RFP is to maximize restoration of a town asset with no out-of-pocket expenses to the town and with a minimal amount of town board oversight. The lease promotes stated town values as to vista, education and environmental quality. In addition, the tenant must be willing to keep the property open to the public for passive recreation, mainly trail walking with or without canine companions.
Like all lease bids under the state's Uniform Procurement Act, the RFP establishes a number of "minimum specifications" to be met by all bidders. This is followed by a "preferences" section that awards points for each of a list of optional factors, with the final award weighted toward the bidder with the highest cumulative points. The RFP allows for separate bids for the house portion or for the barn and agricultural land, but preference is given to a proposal that responds to both of them.
Requirements for house bids
Major requirements for a bid on the house, in addition to making necessary repairs as the need arises, call for the following:
Year 1 - Delead house paint and remove asbestos; weatherproof house.
Year 2 - Repair decayed foundation sills as needed; adjust flashboards as required to maintain Greenough Pond water level.
Year 3 - Demolish and dispose of old greenhouse structure; maintain weatherproofing and flashboard adjustment.
Year 4 - Re-shingle roof; restore existing porch, and maintain weatherproofing and flashboard adjustment.
Year 5 - Update both kitchen and bath, including replacement of cabinets, flooring and plumbing fixtures; maintain weatherproofing and flashboard readjustment.
Requirements for barn and land
Major requirements for the barn and land include, over the five years, improvement of the road surface of the principal access driveway, repair and maintenance of roof tile on the barn, repair of gates, repair or replacement of the "historic gutter system" on the barn, installation of an irrigation well on the perimeter of two two-acre farm plots, resurfacing gravel road between the barn and farmland and (after first year) general maintenance of existing pedestrian trails.
Preference points will be assigned as follows: verified capability to carry out specifications (40 points), current employee of the town of Carlisle (40 ), current resident of town (3), proposed capital improvements of more than $4,000 over the minimum requirements (1 point per $4,000 increment to a maximum of 9 points), response to both house and farm sections of RFP (40), interpretive signage (3), significant educational component on environmental topics or historical farming practices (5). For the barn and farmland proposal only, five points will be awarded for agricultural use related to historical practices and five points for specifying organic farming methods only. Points for the first seven categories will be doubled for those bidding in both the house section and the farm section.
The lessees must provide adequate documentation to demonstrate "that they are qualified to complete the tasks proposed and have the financial resources to provide all necessary materials and/or have the management skills and financial resources to carry out their proposed plan." In addition, they must submit a list of materials which will be used to complete the work, an estimate of the number of hours required and a work schedule.
If a prospective tenant has questions concerning the terms of the RFP, he or she should submit them in writing to the Chief Procurement Officer, Town Offices, 66 Westford Street, Carlisle, MA 01741. Interested parties may make arrangements to inspect the premises by contacting conservation administrator Katrina Proctor at 369-0336.
A brief history of the Greenough homestead, as outlined in the Carlisle Trails Committee's guide, follows. "Sidney Bulls's 'History of Carlisle' notes that the first known settlers on the land were the Solomon Andrews family, who arrived in 1765. Around 1830, Capt. Thomas Page bought the land and operated a gristmill here until 1860. Pages Brook, which is named after him runs southeasterly and flows into the Concord River. More recently, the land belonged to the French family and later to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Greenough." The town bought the property from the Greenough family in 1973. It was maintained for the town by the caretaker John Windhol and his family until his death.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito