Friday, February 15, 2008
Shorts from the Board of Selectmen, February 12
· Wind turbine. Keith Therrien of Berry Corner Lane made a presentation on wind turbines. He requested that the Selectmen appoint a study committee to explore the use of wind turbines to provide energy to the town and individual residents, offered information on sizes, maintenance, and lifespan of the equipment, and estimates of savings in energy costs and pollutants and also offered his services to the potential committee, citing his experience as a mechanical engineer. The Selectmen made no decisions on the matter.
· Pathways. Pedestrian and Bike Safety Advisory Committee member Deb Belanger updated the Selectmen on the progress of the committee's work on the pathways project. She called on John Bakewell to report on the construction aspect and Jack Troast to report on the financials.
The thrust of the committee's efforts in planning is to create a system for communicating with abutters, leaving DPW Superintendent Gary Davis to oversee construction with the contractor. The committee will be the liaison between the abutters and Davis, providing four resident point people, one for each road affected by the project, as well as to the Historical Commission, the Town Administrator and the Conservation Commission.
Troast's report of the financials indicated, as Selectman Bill Tice stated, "You're on budget." The project cost is budgeted for $383,000.
· Police budget. Police Chief John Sullivan presented the Police Department FY09 budget, noting that to remain at level service, the department would need $34,000 more than the projected zero-growth funding recommended by the Finance Committee. He cut this to $17,000 by eliminating extra patrols like traffic control at Town Hall during voting and reducing coverage for Halloween and the Old Home Day (OHD) parade (see box.) Eleven such patrols would be affected. Additionally, training will be curtailed by at least 50%. Separately, the department is asking for $18,000 to fund electricity and gasoline, uses of which have increased in this past year.
· Communications budget. Fire Chief David Flannery joined Sullivan at the podium so that they could present the Communications Department budget. Flannery reported that there is an $8,716 increase in wages, including vacation and sick time adjustments. He also reported that the new computer-aided dispatch system has new technology that will eliminate over- or under-staffing and thus save money on personnel. Sullivan added that the fifth member of the dispatchers' squad will soon be up to speed and in full operation.
· Fire Department budget. Flannery reported that the Fire Department budget is at the no-growth guideline, and that he will attempt to reduce false alarm calls by doing a town-wide mailing to suggest ways to avoid them and maintain alarm systems.
· COA budget. Council on Aging (COA) Treasurer Jim Elgin presented the COA budget and said, "We will make the guideline budget by increasing fees 50% ($1 more for a meal) and creative fundraising."
He also explained the COA's progress on investigating a partnership with the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA). Currently, the town must pay $29,000 to the MBTA, and derives no service from it. Carlisle recoups only about $10,000 of this expense. If the town partnered instead with LRTA, Elgin said Carlisle would see reimbursement of up to 90% of the transportation assessment. The COA van operation would continue the same in either case, though technically the town would be contracting with LRTA, which would then subcontract back to the COA. LRTA would keep 10% of the assessment for administrative and other costs. The Selectmen asked the COA to fully investigate this option to be sure the town will recoup funds as advertised.
· Emergency generator. Selectman Alan Carpenito reported that in meeting with the Board of Health, he had learned that Carlisle has received a grant from Homeland Security of $6,000 to purchase a generator for the Wilkins Building as part of emergency and disaster planning. Although it will not be enough to cover the Corey Building, it will provide water, light and heat to the Wilkins Building and water to the Corey Building. With small generators provided by the Fire Department, the Corey Building can also be lighted.
· Public access TV. Bill Tice reported that Comcast "has had a change of heart" and will provide Carlisle with the public access channel CCTV channel 10 at no additional charge.
· Resignations and appointments. The Selectmen accepted the resignation of Plumbing/Gas Inspector Ken Rich and approved the appointment of James Powderly as his replacement. They also approved the appointment of Jenifer Bush and Stephanie Koch to the Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee (CRAC).
Police patrols that may be reduced
· New Year's Eve
· Spring break when colleges are out
· Junior and Senior high school proms
· Graduation night/week
· OHD - reduce parade coverage
· OHD - Spalding Field gathering
· Halloween night
· Thanksgiving break
· Christmas and holidays
· Voting - traffic detail
· Gatherings on the Common
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