The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 23, 2007


News from surrounding towns

The following news items were extracted from material available online at:

Burying utility wires

Chelmsford - A project to bury utility wires from the Common may begin soon. Verizon and National Grid are collecting money for the project by adding a 2% fee to customer bills. ("Common could be free of utility wires in three years," November 7.)

Budgets and taxes

Chelmsford - The price paid by Chelmsford for road salt has jumped from $42.15 to $50.60 per ton. On average, about 6,000 tons of salt are used per year on the town's 250 miles of roads. Road salt was purchased from Eastern Minerals, which ships the salt from overseas mines. ("Even before snow falls, winter costs rising," November 14.)

Chelmsford - FY09 budget forecasts show a $3 million deficit in the preliminary $100 million Chelmsford town budget. ("Another million dollars in the red," November 14.)

Westford - Business and residential properties in Westford are taxed using a single rate, similar to the policy in Carlisle. The Westford FY08 tax rate is $13.40 per $1,000 in real estate valuation, compared with Carlisle's rate of $12.86. In Westford, "the FY08 average assessed value of a single-family home is $467,844." ("Single tax rate voted," November 14.)

Lincoln - "At the sixth annual State of the Town meeting, town and school officials laid out a cascade of future capital projects with a potential cumulative price tag of up to $85 million." According to Finance Committee Chairman Robert Steinbrook's projections, if Lincoln took on $10 million in new debt, it would raise the average tax bill by roughly 5%, but $75 million in new debt would raise Lincoln taxes by about 40%. ("Big projects discussed at State of the Town," November 6.)


Bedford - Voters created a "School Building Maintenance Trust" that will allow Bedford to accept a special one-time state grant of up to 1% of the reimbursement amount for their high school building project. "By adopting Article 7, the town maximized its chances of receiving all 8-percentage points for MSBA reimbursements included under the maintenance bonus included in the funding formula" ("Voters pass 8 of 9 warrant articles," November 5.)

Sudbury - Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School has increased security in response to the fatal stabbing that occurred last January. There are now cameras at the school entrances, and assemblies, posters and class discussions encourage students to "ACT - Acknowledge, Care, and Tell" and report any suspicious behavior to authorities. ("Students adjust to safety measures at L-S," Sudbury, November 14.)

Concord - The Concord School Committee has given permission to apply for a one-year state grant of $15,000 per kindergarten classroom to facilitate a pilot program to provide full-day kindergarten. The details of the program have not yet been determined. ("School considers all-day K," November 14.)


Harvard - "Not only is a petition circulating among residents to overturn the state's Chapter 40B process, but the Zoning Board of Appeals has taken the lead in questioning the Board of Selectmen's decision in favor of two Local Initiative Projects (LIPs) in town." The Harvard ZBA asked Selectmen to solicit comments from land use boards prior to designating a development as a LIP. ("Chapter 40B: ZBA wants more notice," November 2.)

Westford - "The continuing slump in the housing market hasn't seemed to have affected Westford recently, as the number of single-family houses sold increased from 170 in 2006 to 184 in 2007, according to data from the MLS Property Information Network. Beth Paulauskas, a realtor with William Raveis Real Estate, said there are currently 103 houses on the market in Westford with an average list price of $497,000. On average, homes remain on the market for 171 days. Paulauskas said as many people purchase from within Westford as from outside the town." ("Westford surviving mortgage crisis," November 14.)

Fire protection

Acton - "When a garage next door to John Rogers' North Acton home caught fire, it took Acton firefighters nearly 10 minutes to respond." A new fire station is being proposed for North Acton. Expected to cost about $4 million, it would improve average response time to around five minutes. ("Voters split over fire station," November 14.)

CPA funding

Bedford - At Town Meeting, Bedford reaffirmed its CPA real estate tax surcharge at the maximum allowable level of 3%. The level in Carlisle is 2%. ("Voters pass 8 of 9 warrant articles," November 5.)

Acton - At the end of November, Acton's Community Preservation Committee will begin consideration of ten applications for the $1.4 million in Acton CPA funds available for projects in 2008. ("Committee sets schedule," November 17.)

Also in the news

Acton - "To the chagrin of local dog owners, a divided Board of Selectmen voted this week to continue a contentious policy requiring all dogs to be leashed at NARA Park. Despite continued criticism from several dog owners who attended the November 5 selectmen's meeting, board members said that the leash rule is reasonable since NARA is the only park in town with such a rule." ("Leash rule will stay," November 8.)

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito