Friday, January 18, 2002
Shorts from the board of selectmen, January 8
· Model predicts increasing taxes. At their January 8 meeting the selectmen reviewed with interest the results of a computer model that finance committee member Lisa Jenson-Fellows developed projecting future Carlisle taxes under various scenarios. These projections suggested that if budget growth continues at the current rate, the average residential tax could grow from $8,285 in 2002 to $10,200 in 2007. This scenario included a number of assumptions, including an expectation that state aid of $2,077,038 in 2002 would drop to $1,281,411 by 2007. Building a $15 million school could add $700 to the $10,200 tax bill for a total of $10,900. This assumes no state reimbursement within the five year timeframe. (State reimbursement would begin at a later date.) On the other hand, a slowdown in school population growth, from 4% per year to 2%, would reduce the increase in taxes by $600. "It's a useful tool to tell us how decisions we make now can impact where we end up in five years," said chair John Ballantine.
· Concerns about loss of state funding for roads. While presenting a reimbursement request for Chapter 90 funds of $32,496.76 for a new backhoe, Gary Davis expressed concern with the state's decision to approve no further Chapter 90 outlays for expenses associated with road repairs, possibly through the end of next year. "We have put new projects on hold. We're really going to have to stretch." The new backhoe has already contributed to the building of the new pathway at the school, which Davis said has been heavily used since it opened.
· Carriage Way sale nears. The purchase and sale agreement for the town-owned Carriage Way parcel has been signed. A title issue is causing a delay. The sale of this land will add about $400,000 to the town's stabilization fund. Selectman Vivian Chaput expressed "gratitude to Bill Costello for the purchase and for providing the funds to resolve the title issue."
· Merit increases approved. Merit increases for town employees were approved. A base increase of 2.5% can be raised as high as 4.5% for exemplary performance. The total cost of the merit increases is $12,607.
· Library refuses evaluation. The town library has refused to adhere to the town's personnel evaluation process developed over several months and approved by the selectmen. "Our goal is to consolidate administrative functions and run this town like a municipality," said Chaput. "Without policies in place, and people following those policies, none of that can happen." A meeting will take place to try to resolve the issue.
· Appointments and resignations. The resignation of Beth Hambleton from the School Building Committee was accepted with graditude for her service. Four resumes have been received for the open slot. There was some discussion of whether to increase the size of the committee to spread the workload and make it easier to include both an engineer and an architect. A recommendation from the four current committee members will be sought.
· ConsCom appointment. Roy Watson of Carroll Drive was appointed to the conservation commission.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito