Friday, May 25, 2007
Selectmen consider plans for Greenough house and barn
Town Meeting voted $25,000 to dispose of the Greenough House, which has been determined to be unsafe to repair. Selectmen reviewed the project status at their May 15 meeting and also considered a strategy to preserve the large slate-roofed barn on the property.
Because of lead paint and asbestos in the house, the town will need to complete abatement of the hazardous materials prior to tearing down the building. Selectman Alan Carpenito suggested it might save money to separate the tasks. Because the abatement is expected to cost less than the $25,000 threshold at which the town is required to advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP), Carlisle could instead call at least three abatement firms for job quotes. Board members agreed that the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) should be involved as part of the process.
A possible proposal for renovating the Greenough Barn was presented to the Selectmen by Chris Fielding. He has built a house on property near Greenough for Jack McNally, who may be interested in using the barn and possibly farming some of the adjoining fields.
Fielding estimated a minimum of $60,000 would be required to repair the barn and make it secure. To restore it, a contractor would have to deal with rot on the back side as well as missing siding, perform about $20,000 worth of carpentry repairs, about $7 to 12,000 worth of electrical work, $10 to 20,000 worth of painting and window glazing, and then repair the slate roofing, one of the barn's distinctive, but expensive, characteristics, for somewhere around $12,000. McNally, Fielding said, has expressed interest in keeping cows and storing his tractor in the barn. Access issues would need to be worked out, as the driveway lies across private property and an old earthen dam.
At first glance it might seem the project is similar to the way the barn at the town's Cranberry Bog has been maintained, but Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard later noted a difference. The bog property was purchased entirely with town funds. This allows Carlisle to sign lease agreements with the cranberry grower, Mark Duffy, that include use and maintenance of the barn. The Greenough Land, on the other hand, was purchased with a combination of town, state and federal funds, and as a result there may be more restrictions on the uses of the property. Both Willard and Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie said the town would proceed carefully with any new use of the Greenough property.
Fielding asked to start a dialogue with the Selectmen and Conservation Commission to determine "what is possible," and discuss licensing, leasing, and a plan. Carpenito and Selectman John Williams volunteered to represent the Selectmen at these discussions and Carpenito was later scheduled to speak at the ConsCom meeting on May 24.
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