Friday, March 9, 2007
Short reports on town government meetings Conservation Commission Feb. 22
· 230 Concord Street. Steve and Jackie Hamilton made an informal appearance, asking the Conservation Commissioners to take a look at possible approaches to a steadily mounting maintenance problem on their wetland property between Concord and Westford Streets. After purchasing the property from farmer Guy Clark in the 1980s, they said they had repaired the clearly observable ditches that cross the property. However, a combination of heavy downpours and the collapse of the Concord Street outlet has kept the water level too high for dredging or even mowing. The collapsed culvert has recently been repaired by the Department of Public Works, and the owners want to reshape the drainage ditches, particularly on the Concord Street side. Unfortunately, silt and assorted trash had collected behind the blocked outlet and will need to be cleaned out before work on the ditches can proceed. They have consulted the U.S. Agricultural Extension Service and hope to start the project in July when the water level is down. The commissioners agreed to take a look at the problem and at the proposed solution.
· 81 Craigie Circle. Homeowner Steve Rourk and Stamski and McNary Engineer George Dimakarakos presented a Notice of Intent to replace a failed septic system on what was described as "a very tight lot" within the 100-foot buffer zone of a wetand and a 200-foot Riverfront Area associated with Pages Brook. Because the applicant has not yet obtained a needed variance from the Board of Health, the commission studied the plan carefully, commiserated with the owner and continued the hearing to 8:15 p.m. on March 8.
Board of Selectmen, Feb. 27
· Ambulance fees raised. Fire Chief David Flannery presented a request to increase ambulance fees, based on Medicare rates and recommendations from Coastal Billing, the department's billing service. The Selectmen approved the new rates, effective March 1: Basic Life Support (BLS) non-emergency service - $330; BLS emergency service - $530; Advanced Life Support II emergency service - $910; and the fee for oxygen was raised from $50 to $60. Rates are waived if the hospital provides documentation that the patient qualifies for free medical care. Flannery did not recommend raising any other Fire Department fees at this time.
· Request for a Green Team. Bob Luoma of Palmer Way spoke for the newly formed non-partisan Carlisle Climate Action group which seeks to raise awareness of global climate change. As a way to reduce the town's energy use, he suggested the town form a committee to ensure energy efficiency is included in design criteria for municipal building and renovation projects. Luoma said other area towns, including Concord, have such committees. Questions were asked about how the new committee would be structured and to which board it would report. Selectman Tim Hult volunteered to work with the Climate Action group to check into what other towns are doing and propose a possible model for Carlisle.
· Appointment. Alex Krapf of Ice Pond Road was appointed to a three-year term on the Carlisle Youth Commission.
Regional School Committee, Feb. 27
· Principal Search. CCHS Superintendent Brenda Finn said close to 30 applications for the CCHS principal position have been received. "The principal search is going very well." Finn said, stating that other schools received only about 20 applications for their principal openings. "There are some very strong candidates The hope is to have a choice by the end of March or early April."
· CCHS: emergency shelter or hospital? Concord-Carlisle High School has already been designated as a community shelter for townspeople in cases of emergency, such as power outages. However, as the area plans for a flu pandemic, the high school has also been eyed as an extension for Emerson Hospital, a place to put beds to take care of more patients. The high school can not be both a shelter and a hospital. Discussions continue. A decision on the CCHS designation has not been reached yet.
· METCO Coordinator to retire. After roughly 20 years, Norma Dinnall will retire in June. The opening will be posted soon. There are about 200 METCO students in the Concord Schools, K through 12.
· Cost of new schools. RSC member Michael Fitzgerald asked RSC member Betsy Bilodeau how the town of Concord agreed to go ahead with building a school without knowing what reimbursement, if any, they would get from the state. Bilodeau replied that analysis showed they would spend more dollars by waiting. "We looked into how much money would be spent to keep an [old] building going and what it would take to get it up to the standard level of a new building. Construction inflation is much greater than regular inflation."
Assistant CCHS Superintendent Diana Rigby talked about the cost-efficiency of keeping Special Education students in-district. She said a new special education classroom costs about $250,000 and generally six to eight students are put in that classroom. With out-of-district tuitions averaging $30,000 or more a year per child, the room easily pays for itself within a year or two. All agreed that it was advantageous to keep as many special education students in-district as possible.
Planning Board, Feb. 26
· Scenic Road Public Hearing (Cross Street). At the request of applicant William Costello the hearing to review a request to remove five trees and approximately 31 feet of stone wall within the right-of-way of Cross Street adjacent to Map 7, Parcel 21-4 will be continued on March 12 at 9 p.m. The intent is to create a driveway entrance to a proposed single-family dwelling.
· Chestnut Estates Conservation Cluster.The public hearing for Conservation Cluster and Common Driveway special permits will be continued on March 26 at 7:45 p.m. The property is at 400 Rutland Street, Map 36, Parcels 23 and 26.
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