The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 13, 2006

News

Carlisle to get CPA matching grant of $282,735

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has announced dollar-for-dollar matching grants to communities which have collected property tax surcharges under the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for FY06, and Carlisle has been awarded a matching grant of $282,735. CPA funds may be used for open space and historic site preservation, public recreation and affordable housing. Across the state, a total of $58,666,783 was awarded to 102 participating communities. (See table page 4)

CPC prepares for Town Meeting

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) reviews all proposals to use CPA monies and makes recommendations to Town Meeting. Members of the newly reconstitutued CPC had to quickly come up to speed at their first meeting on October 5. After an overview of the committee's responsibilities, they considered issues related to the development of the town-owned Benfield Land, and agreed to work with the Benfield Task Force on a Warrant for Town Meeting to allow building in the portion of the parcel near South Steet.

Irene Blake first swore in the committee members: Tim Hult (Board of Selectmen), Kent Gonzales (Planning Board), Juli Lavely (at-large member), John Lee (Conservation Commission), Sylvia Sillers (Historical Commission, Randy Laughlin (Recreation Commission), and Kelly Stringham (Conservation Commission alternate).

Larry Barton (town treasurer) and Madonna McKenzie (town administrator) gave an overview of the financial aspects of the CPC. Included was a discussion of how the money comes in, how it must be allocated, the present status of the various fund balances, and a list of initiatives that the CPC has funded since its inception.

Hult said, "Benfield is the issue on the table." Current events, specifically blue-spotted salamander habitat and Native American ceremonial sites on the Benfield property have resulted in renewed activity by the Benfield Task Force. The CPC is responsible for the debt service (principal and interest) on the outstanding notes for the Benfield property. Activities funded include the master site plan and professional services to get to the point of permitting. Both activities are on going because of site constraints largely imposed by salamander habitat considerations.

With graphics and a series of conceptual plans Russ Dion of the Benfield Task Force presented the permutations of the land use that have been considered as a result of site constraints. (See Mosquito September 26 and August 4 issues.) The most severe constraints result from two vernal pools in the area. One is on the back portion of Benfield, and the other is on private property adjacent to Benfield.

Consensus was that in order to proceed, it will be necessary for a Town Meeting to consider the issue and vote to re-designate the front field adjacent to the existing cart path on South Street from open space to housing.


2006 The Carlisle Mosquito