Friday, February 14, 2003
Selectmen okay $150,000 for footpaths
The Carlisle Board of Selectmen voted at their February 11 meeting to accept the pedestrian and bike safety advisory committee's Town Footpath Plan and agreed to take the plan to the Spring Town Meeting for a vote of public support. The selectmen will ask the town for $150,000 in bonding authority to finance the pathway construction. Selectmen Tim Hult said the pathway system will be "a significant enhancement to the town."
The footpath plan recommends that Carlisle build a system of pathways radiating outward from the town's center along the five main roads (see the February 7 issue for more details.) Selectman Vivian Chaput praised the committee's report, "I think they did a marvelous job. They really spent a lot of time and effort, and it shows."
Before the selectmen agreed to try bonding the project, they discussed funding options with committee members Deb Belanger and Tim Eliassen. All agreed that state grants could not be relied upon. Belanger presented different construction estimates using varying amounts of help from Carlisle's Department of Public Works (DPW.) It would cost about $2 per foot of pathway if all labor was supplied by the DPW, but it would take about 20 years to complete, Belanger felt, because the DPW doesn't have much extra time to devote to this project. The pathways would be completed most quickly using only outside contractors, but the cost estimate for that approach was $15 per foot. The committee recommended using the DPW for about 20% of the labor, mainly for rough construction and moving materials to the work sites.
If the town spent $30,000 per year using this plan, it would take about a decade to complete the 8-mile basic pathway system. The $150,000 bond will cover only about half the total cost.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito