The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 6, 2007


Town Meeting to vote on $385,715 in CPA fund projects

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) met April 2 to conclude deliberations and to vote on which of seven proposals they would recommend to voters at Town Meeting on April 30. Six projects were approved for a total of $385,715.

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) has a careful balance between the powers of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and Town Meeting. The CPC recommends projects and the Town Meeting acts and approves appropriations from the CPA Fund. Town Meeting may accept or reject recommended projects or reduce the proposed funding for a project, but it cannot increase the funding or substitute any other projects. The money from rejected projects remains in the ongoing CPA Fund.

Footpath project

The "big ticket item" is $300,000 to be expended by the Pedestrian/Bike Safety Advisory Committee. Any funds unexpended after five years will be returned to the CPA fund. Money previously allocated ($100,000 remaining) will be spent on Bedford Road.

Sylvia Sillers, Historical Commission representative to CPC, recused herself from discussions and voting because she is an abutter to the proposed path. However, she said that the Historical Commission could not take up the issue of pathway material at a public hearing before Town Meeting because of insufficient time for public notice.

Deb Belanger spoke for the Pedestrian/Bike Safety Advisory Committee. "There is no plain asphalt option, particularly in the town center. We have had enough feedback from abutters and others where we will need easements that they would prefer a more natural surface rather than black asphalt." The Advisory Committee has recommended a "chip-seal" surface which is a base asphalt with a topcoat of imbedded river pebbles (see "Costs rise to finish footpaths," Mosquito, March 9).

Selectman representative to the CPC Tim Hult concurred with Belanger, "I don't think straight asphalt would look right in the town center." He said he was impressed with the chip-seal surface after seeing it at NARA Park in Acton.

Ceremonial Sites Survey — rejected

Rejected was a $8,400 request presented by Tim Fohl for the Historical Commission to fund a survey of ceremonial sites in Carlisle. The survey was to be done by Doug Harris, the Narragansett tribal historic preservation officer. CPC Chair Kelly Stringham was reluctant to recommend CPC funds for a study that wouldn't lead to "something tangible." Hult and CPC member Kent Gonzales were not convinced that commonly accepted practice would lead to identification of rock alignments or groupings that had real ceremonial significance.

Greenough cottage teardown

Approved was a $25,000 project to remove the cottage on the Greenough Land and thereby "restore open space." The building is in sufficient disrepair that rehabilitation is not practical, particularly with basement asbestos and lead paint involved. To be expended under control of the Board of Selectmen, any remaining funds after two years will revert to the CPA fund. (See Mosquito, March 16, 2007,"CPA funding considered for house demolition.")

Honor Roll restoration

The CPC voted to recommend $22,000 for restoration of the Veterans' Memorial Honor Roll at the Town Common. The scope of work to be done under the control of the Town Common Committee will be to restore the memorial, do some re-grading at the site along with some slight relocation of the memorial. Included will be some re-grading on the Common to provide a flatter area near the flagpole. Any remaining funds after two years will revert to the CPA fund.

Signs for town-owned conservation lands

Approved was $11,715 for the Land Stewardship Committee to replace or provide new signs on town-owned conservation lands. Unexpended funds after five years will revert to the CPA fund.

Conservation assessment

for Soldiers' Memorial

(aka Goddess of Liberty)

The CPC recognized the need for refurbishment of the statue at the rotary but, given the possible complexity of encrustations and deterioration, expected that it has to be a two-step process: assessment and then refurbishment. They voted to recommend $2,000 for the assessment step.

Senior recreation needs assessment

This proposal presented by the Council on Aging received considerable discussion. COA board member Bert Williams responded to questions about the scope of the work and the expected output. He indicated that the focus would be "recreation-oriented." Other aspects are that it would include the entire town, not just seniors, although he indicated that the above-50 population is increasing. When asked if a volunteer survey could be done, Williams said that a professional approach is needed for a true assessment without unintended bias.

Hult suggested that part of the survey should be to gather information from comparable towns for similar support to seniors, and experience that they have had with multi-use facilities like community centers.

The CPC voted to recommend $25,000 for the assessment, with unexpended funds after two years to revert to the CPA fund.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito