Friday, April 16, 1999
Selectmen finally finalize Warrant for May 4 Town Meeting
The selectmen took the process of approving the Warrant for Town Meeting right up to the deadline this year and finally closed the Warrant on April 7 with 36 articles. What follows is an overview of the articles with the recommendations of the board of selectmen.
Overrides and capital projects
Article 4 allows the town to vote on the budgets of the various town departments, boards and commissions. Article 4 also presents the override questions. The selectmen unanimously approved and recommended a balanced budget of $11,248,809.
The selectmen also unanimously recommended a tier one override in the amount of $185,340 to cover deficits in town department operating budgets and an additional $5,000 capital expenditure to be used toward a new town computer system, for a total tier one override of $190,340.
The tier two override in the total additional amount of $149,022 was also recommended, but not unanimously. On this level, all selectmen except Doug Stevenson recommended $66,522 for the Carlisle Public School (includes funding for a part-time choral music teacher and part-time foreign language teacher as well as educational equipment and campus improvements). Of the remaining $72,500, all selectmen recommended $22,500 for school facility repairs and upgrades, an additional $5,000 for the town computer system, $15,000 for a wage classification study for town employees and $30,000 for the O'Rourke Land water supply study. All selectmen, except Stevenson and Vivian Chaput, also recommended $10,000 for air conditioning at the police station.
Selectmen unanimously voted not to recommend the tier three override, although these items will be moved at Town Meeting. This level includes $10,000 for the toddler playground, $18,000 for a new trash compactor at the department of public works (DPW) and $53,500 for the Carlisle Public School (includes funding for field trips, athletic fees, facility use fees and other items now paid for by user fees). The tier three override totals $106,500 (not including $3,000 which had been allocated for a speed monitor for the police which the selectmen cut from the Warrant).
Townspeople will have the opportunity at Town Meeting to vote on whether to fund each item included in the override, but failure of any particular item will not change the amount of the override in each level on the ballot. If the override passes at the town election the amount of the disapproved item will be put in the free cash account. Similarly, any budget item approved at Town Meeting will be contingent on a majority vote at the town election on the override level in which that item is included.
Article 5 presents the capital projects included within the balanced budget. These projects are $30,000 for school facilities upgrade and repair, $10,000 for modification to school facilities for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, $5,000 for fire page replacement, $11,000 for a fire alarm decoder and $3,200 for Scott air bottles in use at the fire department. Selectmen voted unanimously to recommend this article.
Selectmen also voted unanimously to recommend the following articles which will require voter approval of a Proposition 2-1/2 override all of which are included in the tier overrides:
· Article 7 allows the town to pay its share of the Concord-Carlisle regional school district budget.
· Articles 16 and 17 provide for the new computer system for town employees.
· Article 18 would authorize the selectmen to spend $30,000 for the water study on the O'Rourke property, a right reserved in the deed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The town has three years to perform this study, which would locate a potential municipal water supply and, depending on the location, could result in an additional $115,000 from Fish and Wildlife.
· Article 19 would allow the town to pay $15,000 for a wage and classification study for town non-union employees including the creation of job descriptions and a rating manual.
Selectmen voted unanimously to recommend the following capital projects which are not included in the balanced budget and will require a Proposition 2-1/2 override debt exclusion:
· Article 12 is a capital expenditure of $304,000 for a new pumper truck for the police station.
· Article 13 would authorize a capital expenditure of $153,700 for rooftop air handling units at the school.
· Articles 14 and 15 would authorize the town to purchase the Wang-Coombs property and accept potential outside funding for the purchase (see article on page 1).
Selectmen voted unanimously not to recommend Article 20 which would raise $10,000 for construction of a toddler playground at Diment Park.
The board was split about recommending Article 21 to put $100,000 into a conservation fund to be used by the conservation commission to investigate and pursue land acquisitions for conservation purposes. All selectmen, except Doug Stevenson and Michael Fitzgerald, voted to recommend this article. Stevenson and Fitzgerald felt that the municipal land committee's serial bonding proposal would have provided money for land acquisition with less impact on taxes than an override.
Other money matters
Article 9 would authorize the board of selectmen, after consultation with the Carlisle Housing Authority, to spend $30,000 for the purpose of planning and design of up to 12 units of affordable housing on the town-owned Conant Land. Selectmen noted that this item is within the balanced budget, not included in an override, and voted unanimously to recommend this article.
Article 10 would allow the selectmen to spend $12,910 for clean-up of the DPW site on Lowell Street. The total estimated cost of the clean-up was approximately $46,000, but a major portion of the work was performed this year, leaving only $12,910 to be paid from the FY00 budget, according to town administrator David DeManche. This amount is also within the balanced budget, and selectmen voted unanimously to recommend this article.
General government articles
Article 1 allows the town to hear reports of town officers, boards, committees, commissioners and trustees. Because the selectmen cut the serial bonding proposal for land acquisition from the Warrant (see article on page 1), the board suggested that the municipal land committee take this opportunity to deliver an educational message about its recommendations for long-range planning.
Article 2 would authorize the board of selectmen to employ town counsel.
Article 3 would fix the salaries of certain town employees.
Article 6 would authorize revolving funds for town departments. Included in this category is a revolving fund for the conservation commission in the amount of $20,000, consisting of fees received from administration of the Carlisle wetland protection bylaw and used for specific expert engineering and consulting services in administering the bylaw. This fund should not be confused with the conservation fund proposed to receive $100,000 under Article 20 which is to be used in connection with land acquisition for conservation purposes.
Article 8 would allow the selectmen to pay for professional auditing services for the FY99 audit.
Article 11 would authorize raising money for reconstruction and improvement of public ways and other Chapter 90 projects, including sidewalks.
Article 34 would see whether the town will accept the so-called Quinn bill which establishes a career incentive pay program for the police department. Selectmen do not recommend this article because it is a subject of ongoing collective bargaining at this time.
Article 36 would authorize the board of selectmen to lease certain town land (Foss Farm, Banta-Davis, Conant or the DPW yard) for the purpose of installing a wireless communications facility. Selectmen emphasized that this article merely gives the selectmen authority to lease the land, not to enter into any specific agreement. A public hearing and special permit are required before any such agreement is made.
Except for article 34 above, the selectmen voted unanimously to recommend these general government articles.
Zoning bylaw changes
There are ten separate articles which propose changes to Carlisle's zoning bylaw. With the exception of the proposed cell tower moratorium discussed below, selectmen voted to postpone deciding whether to recommend any of these changes until after the public hearing held by the planning board on April 12.
Article 22 would add the new open space neighborhood provisions (see article on page 5).
Article 23 would require physician and dentist offices to operate by special permit in a residential district. Article 24 would eliminate as permitted uses in a residential district private family guest houses and dwelling units for temporary occupancy by persons employed on the premises. Articles 25 and 26 provide options on how the 50 percent limitation on expansion of nonconforming houses should be interpreted. To conform with state law, Article 29 would allow a daycare center as a permitted use in a residential district.
Article 27 would allow a bank to operate by special permit in a General Residence A district, and Article 28 would add a requirement for site plan review by the selectmen for any such business. These articles must be moved at Town Meeting by a resident of the town.
Article 33, placed on the Warrant by petition, would amend the senior residential open space community bylaw by lowering the minimum age of the owner/occupant from 62 to 55 and by increasing the maximum area of the units from 1,400 square feet to 2,400 square feet.
Article 35, also placed on the Warrant by petition, would require a six-month moratorium on the granting of permits for wireless communication facilities. On the advice of town counsel, the selectmen decided not to recommend this bylaw change in its current form because it is not consistent with applicable law.
Article 30 would allow the conservation commission to lease all or a portion of the Greenough property for in-kind services for a period of five years with the possibility of a five-year extension. Selectmen voted unanimously to recommend this article.
Article 31 would accept the gift of lot 10 in the Tall Pines subdivision. The deed has already been delivered to the town. Selectmen voted unanimously to recommend this article.
Article 32 would accept Ice Pond Road as a public way and to acquire any easement or other property rights deemed necessary in connection with accepting the road as a public way. The selectmen determined that they did not have enough information at this time to decide whether to recommend this article.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito