Friday, March 4, 2005
Shorts from the Historical Commission
· Heald House barn repairs. While town boards and departments grapple with threatened budget cuts, Sarah Brophy of the Carlisle Historical Society had a pleasant assignment from the Community Preservation Committee (CPC): return to the Historical Commission with a higher request. Brophy had originally requested $10,000 from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for repairs to the historic Heald House barn (owned by the Carlisle Historical Society). Ten percent of Carlisle's CPA funds are to be dedicated to historic preservation projects. Brophy came back with a $30,000 request which, when added to $5,000 raised by the Historical Society, would fund repairs to two sides of the barn. The Historical Commission approved the new amount and will support the new request at the CPC meeting on March 2. If the CPC accepts this request, it will ask Spring Town Meeting to authorize funds from the CPA. In addition, the Historical Commission recommended that the motion include a preservation restriction on the barn and provision for free admission to Heald House during its open hours.
· Bank of America sign. Representatives of the bank or its signage company were asked to appear at the meeting, but none did. The bank is in violation of the Historical Commission's recommendations on the size and specific colors of its sign in the town center, as presented to a representative of the Batten Brothers Sign Advertising Company in October. A fine of $200 a day could be levied against the bank. George Senkler of Curve Street, owner of the building, was present at the meeting and said that he would contact the sign company the next day.
· Highland School study. Although it was not on the agenda, commission members discussed the upcoming master plan study of the Highland School by the School Committee, estimated to cost $20,000. The Historical Commission is concerned with preservation issues inherent in both the Highland School and the Brick School, and recommends that preservation be given high priority in the study. The School Committee has not applied to the Historical Commission for money from the CPA's historic preservation fund. With the current amount in that fund at $180,000, Commission members were assured that the CPA could support both the Historical Society's barn repair and the master plan study should the School Committee request funding.
CPA funds are derived from a 2% surcharge on property taxes that towns may allocate toward affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space. The state matches the funds accrued each year. The Community Preservation Committee recommends how the CPA money will be spent and Town Meeting votes on their recommendations.
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