Friday, December 21, 2007
Shorts from the Board of Selectmen, December 11 meeting
· Tax bills. Tim Hult warned the other members of the Selectmen (BOS) at their December 11 meeting, "As you go to your holiday parties, be prepared" for questions about rising tax bills. This month's bill will be significantly higher as the tax increase for FY08 was not reflected in the first two bills. State certification, which was not received until the fall, is necessary before a new tax rate can be used. The last two tax bills will make up for the taxes not collected earlier in the fiscal year.
· Highland Building. Six members of the Highland Building Committee were approved by the Selectmen. Alan Carpenito will represent the BOS, Ken Hoffman will represent the Planning Board, Bob Hilton will represent the Historical Commission, Wendell Sykes will represent the School Committee, John Ballantine of Fiske Street, and Bob Stone of Skelton Road will be members-at-large. Another "at large" opening is available, and the BOS hope to attract an architect. Other townspeople have expressed interest and will be referred to the committee as advisors. Stevenson noted this is "a research group to examine a broad spectrum of ideas" and members should not be advocates for a particular alternative.
· FY09 budget. New growth for FY08 is still tracking low at a projected $8 million, a significant fall from past years. No recent housing starts are reported. In addition, local receipts to the town, such as excise taxes, are tracking lower than last year.
· Library repair. An engineering study will be proposed to look at the cracked facade on the library. Although a preliminary estimate of $170,000 has been floated, "We're not completely confident in that number," said Hult, noting "It's not a little thing." The Community Preservation Committee will be petitioned regarding the use of historical Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for this purpose. The war memorials and cleanup of the rotary statue are other competing uses for these funds near-term. Next year the Highland Building Committee may also request CPA historical preservation funds.
· Pathways. Issues regarding the new pathways have reached resolution. McKenzie reported that the Traffic Safety Committee (TSC) will require the 90-degree curbing on Lowell Street requested by the Pathways Committee to be 13 feet from the center of the road. Bikers need extra room in the roadway because they will not be able to jump the 90-degree curb to avoid cars. Since curbing on Concord Street will be slanted, the TSC has no issue. A telephone pole on Concord Street will be moved in January so that the pathway can pass in front.
· New state aid. Carol Nathan, Council on Aging (COA) van coordinator, and Verna Gilbert, chair of the COA, presented an expense sheet for FY07 state reimbursement of transportation costs for several residents. It is expected that $10,492 will be credited. Tim Hult noted, "It's not going to be an easy year and every bit helps."
· Communications. The BOS voted to accept a gift of a $2,500 used stainless-steel shelter from Bob Fraser, to house radio equipment for the town. Police Chief Sullivan reported that Carlisle has obtained use of the cell tower on Bedford Road from Bay Communications at $1 per year to be used for emergency communications.
· Signage. Warren Lyman and Debbie Gilder of the Conservation Land Stewardship Committee requested authorization to spend $4,600 of $11,715 in CPA funds approved at Town Meeting for signage on conservation land. They wish to put 53 new and seven replacement signs on several town properties. Noting recent problems with campfires and trash at Foss Farm, Lyman said, "If we don't post, the police don't have the authority to uphold the rules." The request was approved.
· Public Access TV. Broadcasting of Channel 10 in Carlisle is being pursued by Selectman Bill Tice, who reports "Our Comcast representative agrees, but higher management is resistant." Concord Carlisle TV (CCTV) will turn on Channel 10 on January 9 and programing will be available to Concord residents, but "Carlisle will lose out" if there is no change in policy.
Tice floated the idea of planning a series of public service announcements for CCTV to emphasize the benefits of volunteering and specify where town volunteers are needed. "I think it's a great idea," said Hult. "I'm amazed how many people are watching these [CCTV programs]." Volunteers should contact Madonna McKenzie at Town Hall.
· CR approved. A Conservation Restriction (CR) was approved by the Selectmen on the Stalker property, off Bingham Road. Previously, the CR (#62) was approved by the Conservation Commission (see article, "Stalker / Keskulla family offers CR on 5.6 acres," November 16.)
· Residents remembered. Selectman Doug Stevenson remembered Francis Booth, who died in late November, as a lifelong resident of Carlisle for most of his 91 years, a veteran of WWII and D-Day, who offered his services to the town as "fireman, police officer and veterans agent in the days when citizens wore many hats in the community."
Stevenson also noted the passing of Grace Dutton, who was 91 and moved to Carlisle in 1924 at age 7. She was a member of the Congregational Church for 80 years, and wrote one of her many poems about the church. She served the first lunches to Carlisle school children.
© 2007 The