Friday, December 9, 2005
Paging through Carlisle's Annual Reports: 1990 - 2000
This is the last in a series celebrating Carlisle's history during our Bicentennial year. This project was aided by the late Sarah Andreassen, who donated a large collection of Annual Reports to the newspaper, and by librarian/archivist Connie Manoli-Skokay, who supplied many old photos. Current Annual Reports are available free of charge at Town Hall, and past years' Reports are available for viewing at Gleason Library.
Population - 4,379
• Annual Town Election, May 1, 1990: Question 1. Shall the Town of Carlisle be allowed to assess an additional $650,000 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of funding the Town's operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1990? Yes - 814, No - 1232.
• Police Department: As a result of the town's severe budget limitations for the fiscal year 1991, the Police Department reduced its operating budget by $70,000. The most significant impact of this was the reduction in patrol coverage.
• Carlisle School Committee: Fiscal Year 1991 has left an indelible mark on the history of education in CarlisleAs the population and new construction in Carlisle grew, the school system and its budget received unwavering support from the community. During those years, the program, professional staff and facilities of the school became among the best in the state of Massachusetts. Then, in the face of a deteriorating economy and frustration over ever-rising tax bills, townspeople defeated the override necessary to continue this tradition.
• Report of the School Superintendent / Principal: In the fall of 1990 average class sizes increased from 19 to 23 students per class, with the largest classes approaching 30 students. In addition, our school library was closed; the Latin program, and the position of Middle School Guidance Counselor were eliminated
Carlisle parents and townspeople formed the Carlisle Education Foundation.As a result of their efforts, funds were provided that supported the purchase of texts and suppliesAt the same time, a School Volunteers Committee was formed, resulting in a listing of over 120 volunteers to assist teachers and students in classrooms
For the second year, each Carlisle School classroom has been involved in a significant community service project during each semester, while our Middle School continued with a community service requirement for every Middle School student.
• Police Department: As a result of a fall Special Town Meeting, the Police department added two more nights of patrol coverage. At present, all but one night per week is provided with active patrol.
• Communications Department: 1991 Total phone calls - 23,657. Total walk-in calls - 5,066.
• Report of the School Superintendent / Principal: "What a difference a year makes." Following a year of severe budget constriction, a limited override was passed by Carlisle citizens, teachers agreed to defer a portion of their salary increase, and a budget management plan produced a significant savings in bus transportation costs.Carlisle Schools opened in September with all class sizes with the limit of 25 students, with kindergarten class sizes restored to a maximum of 18 studentsand with our middle school guidance counselor position reinstated.
Our students continue to excel in state-wide basic skills and curriculum tests, scoring in the top 10% of students in the state.
• Board of Selectmen: The need for Town Office space was accelerated by increased enrollment at the schools as the School Department needs Spalding Room 2 for class space next year. This means the Planning Board, the Conservation Commission and the Council on Aging must find a new home
At present the Selectmen are studying the usability of the now vacant Highland School for town office space.[See current discussion of Highland on page 1.] The School Department no longer desires the Highland building for classrooms, citing the unavailability of state money for renovations on wooden structures as the controlling factor. Also often cited is the cost of making the building handicapped accessible which is required by law. Because the building is integrated into the school complex, a use compatible with the school is the building's only futureThe use as Town Offices has been rejected in various forms in the past at the committee level, but it remains the number one choice for use of the building according to the Town's most recent survey of popular opinion. This, coupled with the fact that time is slowly destroying the building and it may soon be useless for any purpose, has convinced the Selectmen to resolve the question of Town Office use once and for all and put the question before Town Meeting
• Report of the School Superintendent/Principal: As a result of additional local and state funding, a new French program was begun at the Middle School and a part-time library/media specialist joined our faculty.
Total number of students in grades K-8: 584
• Police Department: Funding for 24 hour police coverage was reinstituted into the fiscal 1994 budget. 1993 Statistics: accidents - 121, alarms - 494, armed robbery - 1, assault and battery - 6, assault with a dangerous weapon - 2, breaking and entering - 11, civil disputes - 33, arrests - 72, citations - 661, restraining orders issued - 18, warrants issued - 39, disturbances - 69, domestic disputes - 20, drug violations - 9, firearm permits issued - 31, house checks - 1677, investigations - 190, larcenies - 22, liquor violations - 41, missing persons - 18, motor vehicle stops - 2147, protective custody - 7, psychiatric concerns - 19, suspicious phone calls - 102, suspicious activity - 326, traffic complaints - 65, vandalism - 61, child abuse/neglect - 4.
• Household Waste Committee: With the Town's present volountary recycling program in its 5th year, we are currently withholding 35% of the town's waste from the waste stream through recycling
Under the terms of Kulmala's will, the property must be used for "conservation, recreation, and civic purposes" .The will further specifies that, at any time the town no longer has appropriate use for the property, it is to be conveyed, along with the trust fund, to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, thereby dissolving the trust.The Committee has been successful in negotiating an agreement with the Audubon Society so that, if the property is so conveyed, Audubon will sell the property and provide the town with two-thirds of the proceeds, to be used for the purchase of conservation land in Carlisle.
• 80 Russell Street Trust Committee: In 1994, the defining event was the passing of Article 23 at the Annual Town Meeting on April 26. This article directed the Selectmen to convey the 80 Russell Street property, along with the trust fund, to the Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS), as provided for in the will of the late Katharine (Kay) Kulmala.
Prior to Town Meeting, the Carlisle Housing Authority (CHA), with endorsement by the Selectmen but in opposition to the recommendation of the Committee, had pursued the use of the Kulmala house as a low-income rental unit. When this plan failed, CHA began a study to see if four to six low-cost rental units could be constructed on the site. This effort was aborted by the Town Meeting vote.
With the transfer of the property to MAS the Committee goes out of existence. This is therefore the Committee's final report.
• Housing Authority - In a continuing search for a way to provide affordable housing in Carlisle, the Housing Authority presented a proposal to the Selectmen to study the feasibility of building five or six units at 80 Russell StreetIn April, however, prior to the completion of the financial feasibility study, the Town Meeting voted for an article directing the Selectmen to convey 80 Russell Street to the Audubon Society.
When completed in May, the feasibility study by CP Consulting showed that the proposed project was financially viable. With the land available from the town the cost of construction loans, administration, and maintenance would have been covered by rental income.
While disappointed with the outdome, the Housing Authority is now armed with a factual study which shows that if land can be obtainedsmall groups of affordable housing can be built and operated in Carlisle with no additional cost to the town.
• Council on Aging: October 1994 marked the advent of the new Council on Aging van, funded in full for its first year of operation by a generous anonymous donor.
• Carlisle School Committee: We began the year by hosting Carlisle's first Education Forum in January. Peter Senge, noted author and proponent of Systems Thinking, was the keynote speaker. We had community participation beyond our wildest expectations (more than 300 townspeople, parents and teachers.)
Carlisle Public Schools Total Enrollment - 664
Concord Carlisle Regional School District Total Enrollment - 907
• Conservation Commission: On Stearns Street the Town completed the acquisition of the Malcolm land. This unique effort was accomplished in concert with The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) and the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF). The original parcel consisted of 38 acres, of which the Town purchased 23 acres and the Trustees and CCF purchased 11 acres. The remaining four acres are being developed by the Carlisle Congregational Church and Northwest Structures into 12 units of senior housing.The Town did receive $83,000 reimbursement from the State's Self-help grants program for its contribution to the purchase of the Malcolm land.
• Board of Selectmen: The new Town Hall, 100 years in the making, was dedicated during Old Home Day on July 4, 1997.
• School Superintendent / Principal: Our 1997/98 school year opened in September with 715 students. This represents a net increase of 24 students over the previous year and highlighted the every-growing school population and the need for our [nearly completed 6-classroom] Link Expansion Project.
• Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee: The region has been busy implementing the mandates of the Educational Reform Act of 1993. An additional 15 minutes has been added to each high school dayThe added time has allowed us to create a restructured schedule which allows for class periods ranging from 45- to 60-minute blocks. The academic climate and student productivity have improved as a result of these changes
• Board of Selectmen: The Town of Carlisle, in June 1998, completed the sale of the O'Rourke property on Maple Street. This accomplishment, after many months of negotiations, was the result of the tireless efforts of many individuals. Most importantly, the Board would like to thank Congressman Marty Meehan and Senator Ted Kennedy for taking legislative action that will allow us to now sell this property to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW). The Board with the able assistance of Greg Peterson and Tony Mariano continues to move toward a final closing date and transfer of the property to USFW.
• Board of Selectmen: The first Town pathway was completed in July 1999. The pathway was the culmination of several years of work by the Bike and Pedestrian Pathways Committee. The pathway runs from the Fire Station on Westford Street and Police Station on Lowell Street. In the fall of 1999, the BPPC began planning its second route — School Loop Pathway Project.
Work was completed on the new Banta Davis Athletic Fields complex. The work includes a renovation of the existing baseball diamond adjacent to the cemetery as well as the creation of a new baseball diamond, soccer field and walking track.
• Planning Board: In 1999, the Planning Board continued to emphasize managing residential growth in Carlisle, rather than simply permitting it.Since 1991, the rate of growth of residential units in Carlisle has remained strong but quite constant, averaging 25 new homes per year.In spite of the booming economy of the past few years, this rate of growth has not approached the rapid development period of 1977-85, when an average of 43 new homes were built each year.
• Fire Department: The Carlisle Fire Department has been an all call force since its establishment by the Town in 1927. Residents are reminded that the men and women who make up the fire Department are your friends and neighbors. I am pleased to report that we finished the year with a roster of 27 firefighters.
The town needs to be always mindful that the yearly cost of maintaining a full-time Department is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.The call Department continues to provide a very high quality and cost effective service. It is my opinion that our firefighters are superior to many of the professional firefighters in the area
Firefighter training programs are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 7 - 9:30 p.m. In addition, an all day drill is held in the springWe were fortunate to be able to provide the members with live fire training in the spring at the O'Rourke property on Maple Street just prior to the transfer of ownership to the Federal Government. Several of the out buildings were used to simulate structural fire conditions and firefighters were able to practice search and rescue, fire attack, ventilation, and overhaul.
The Department responded to 339 calls in 1999 (203 fire and 136 ambulance.) The total calls were up 21% over 1998
Population - 4,923
• Fire Department: As the Department enters the new century a few of the concerns and issues that were present at the beginning of the last century remain. However, the organization and the structure of the Department, and the ability to instantly and efficiently alert "on-call" emergency personnel, are the foundation of our service today. Issues relating to the availability of water sources and the recruiting and retaining of "on-call" staffing remain our number one priorities.
• Household Waste Committee: Carlisle achieved a 43% recycling rate in 2000 with 1481 tons of material recycled and 1,940 tons sent to the NESWC incinerator.
• Gleason Public Library: the construction project at the Library building at 22 Bedford Road was completed with no major difficultiesOn September 17, the "new" Library was dedicated, in an all-day program of events including music and dance, magic and juggling. The dedication and ribbon cutting took place on the Library lawn, and citizens toured the building throughout the afternoon.
December 2000, Total number of titles - 41,822.
• School Statistics:
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