Friday, June 18, 1999
State funding tops selectmen's list of concerns
As promised at the last meeting of the board of selectmen, on June 8, selectman Vivian Chaput circulated a draft letter to Secretary of Environmental Affairs Robert Durand protesting the proposed expansion of Route 3. "It appears that little, if any, thought has been given to the environmental impact and suburban sprawl which will result from the widening," stated Chaput in the letter. Chaput suggested that the secretary encourage alternatives to roadway expansion, such as building "park and drive" lots or extending light rail or other environmentally sound means of meeting commuters' needs. The board of selectmen agreed to send the letter.
Regarding the governor's proposed cuts in Chapter 90 funding, town administrator David DeManche circulated a chart showing that Carlisle would lose close to $60,000 if the governor's budget is approved. If no change were made in the Chapter 90 program, Carlisle would receive approximately $180,000. DeManche indicated that all cities and towns across the state would lose roughly the same percentage of state assistance. The Massachusetts Municipal Association is vigorously contesting the proposed cuts. Chaput reiterated that Chapter 90 funds are critical, in part because the town was planning to use the money for the next phase of the sidewalk project.
As a minor item, selectman Doug Stevenson read a letter from the state highway department recommending that the town install winding-road caution signs and a 25 m.p.h. speed limit sign on Heald Road. Board members questioned why Heald Road was singled out, but agreed to forward the request to the police department.
The town also applied for a $30,000 municipal incentive grant to hire a consultant to assist in the development of affordable housing. According to the grant application, the consultant will review all applicable local statutes, regulations and policies to determine areas of strength and weakness for the creation of affordable housing. Similarly, the consultant will interview the key players in local government to determine if efficiency improvements will help in the creation of affordable housing. The consultant will survey other comparable communities to determine how the goal of affordable housing was accomplished in those communities. Finally, he or she will develop a working plan of recommendations that will be implemented to create affordable housing in the community. DeManche stated that the town applied for the same grant last year and was not successful, but hoped that the passage of the affordable housing article at Town Meeting would strengthen the town's application this year. Grants will be awarded in August.
Changing of the guard
The board elected new officers to serve for the coming year. Doug Stevenson will replace Chaput as chair. John Ballantine will serve as vice-chair and Burt Rubenstein as clerk.
Selectmen also appointed Carolyn Kiely to the conservation commission.
The board thanked John Dalton and his family for their service to the community as caretakers of the flag on the Town Common. The Daltons are moving out of town, thus creating an opening for a new caretaker.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito