Friday, February 2, 2001
Shorts from the selectmen
The Carlisle Selectmen's meeting of January 23 addressed a variety of issues:
· Wayne Davis of the conservation restriction advisory committee requested a budget of $1200 for office expenses, primarily for the copying of over-sized deeds that can run as much as eight dollars per page. His committee is reviewing documents for land currently under conservation restriction to ensure enforcement of requirements where the town is the grantee. "Because we know how these restrictions work and are familiar with the language, our group may be in a better position than conscom to understand them," said Davis. Selectman Mike Fitzgerald asked town administrator Madonna McKenzie to find a way to cover the expenses within the town hall budget. "We value your services, but I'm not sure we're ready to establish your committee as a budgetary unit at this point," added Fitzgerald.
· The Community Preservation Act is under review and will be discussed at the next selectmen's meeting (February 13) with an eye to preparing a Warrant article for Town Meeting. This act, passed by the state last year, provides a mechanism for towns to set aside funds for the purposes of advancing affordable housing, historic preservation, and conservation.
· Dave Willard and Don Allen from the wireless application advisory committee were on hand to report their expectation that at least one proposal to site a cell tower in Carlisle, most likely on Stearns Street, will be received by the town soon. Once a proposal is received, the town has thirty days to evaluate it. McKenzie will locate some engineers who could be ready to review a proposal if it arrives. McKenzie also reported that she is "working through some issues" regarding whether Malcolm Meadows could be proposed by the town as an alternative to siting a tower on private land. She has identified three other town-owned sites that could also be proposed because they have no conservation restrictions and were not purchased with state funds. Midge Eliassen of the board of appeals reported that a request for variance has been received regarding siting a cell tower at One River Road, and a permit proposal can be expected if the variance is approved.
· A proposal to increase ambulance fees was received from Coastal Medical Billing. Fitzgerald asked for more information regarding current rates and what percentage is paid by insurance companies. "I wouldn't want anyone to be reluctant to call an ambulance as a result of a significant fee increase," he added.
· Conservation administrator Sylvia Willard inspected the Bog House recently to ensure that the terms of the lease, which provided for use of the town-owned house on Curve Street in exchange for needed repairs, had been realized. She reported that occupant Mark Duffy has completed the repairs as required. The lease expires in June 2001. Fitzgerald commented that he would like to see the house evaluated as possible multi-unit affordable housing.
· McKenzie reported that $320,000 received from the state under the Agricultural Preservation Restrictions Act for the purchase of the Robbins and Hutchins Fields (Wang-Coombs Land) is being put into the stabilization fund, from which money can only be extracted by Warrant article and a 2/3 vote at Town Meeting. Selectman Doug Stevenson noted that the town was promised that the rebate would be used to reduce debt. McKenzie reported that tax collector/treasurer Ann Vandal has invested the money in a credit unit at 6.5%. Since the town borrowed at less than 5% interest, it was decided not to pay down the debt but to present a warrant article each year to cover debt payments.
· A proposal supported by Vandal to go to quarterly tax billing was determined to be unfeasible. The cost of producing additional mailings and the administrative time involved would probably be greater than any interest savings due to reduced borrowing or interest earnings due to getting the money in earlier.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito