The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 29, 2008


CPC approves three projects, waits on Honor Roll, Benfield Land

On February 25, another night where every meeting room in Town Hall was in use, the members of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and a small group of citizens squeezed into the Parlin Room to hear the CPC vote on which grant applications would be presented to Town Meeting this May for approval. As committee members and audience members moved back and forth between meetings in different locations at Town Hall, CPC Chair Kelly Guarino reviewed each of the five applications that had been submitted for funding from the FY09 grant cycle.

The CPC quickly approved each of the first three applications.

• Liberty statue restoration. The CPC agreed to support the project application from the Carlisle Historical Commission for $4,000 to be spent by the end of 2009. Any unspent funds would be returned to the historical fund of the CPC. This grant would fund cleaning and restoration of the statue in the town rotary.

• Conservation and exhibiting of artifacts related to the history of Carlisle. The CPC will support the project application from the Carlisle Historical Society for $2,500 to be spent by the end of 2009. Unspent funds would be returned to the CPC historical fund. This grant would fund tools and storage materials of archival quality for historic maps and textiles which are stored at Heald House.

• Gleason Public Library facade restoration. The CPC will support the project application from the Gleason Public Library Trustees in the amount of $40,000 to be spent by the end of 2009. Unspent funds would revert to the CPC historical fund. This grant would allow the Trustees to hire a preservation specialist, to assess the repair situation, to design the plan for the preservation reconstruction and to issue and review a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the work.

• Benfield Land infrastructure. The committee undertook a lengthy discussion about the request from the Carlisle Housing Authority for up to $425,000 for engineering and construction of an access road, drilling a public water supply and installing a septic system for 26 units of senior housing on the Benfield Property. This grant would allow the Housing Authority to provide the infrastructure on the land as part of an agreement with a builder if necessary.

At the request of the CPC, the Housing Authority had agreed to word any possible agreement with a developer such that the money could only be spent on the road, well and septic system. In addition it was agreed that the Carlisle Housing Trust would be used to provide a broader representation of the town when negotiating.

However, members of the CPC were not comfortable with the lack of documentation to support the $425,000 request and agreed to table the request until the next meeting to allow the Housing Authority time to provide support for the amount requested.

• Upgrade of Veterans Honor Roll. Several members of the Carlisle Honor Roll Committee (HRC) including chairperson (and Selectman) Doug Stevenson came to present their proposal to the CPC (see “Planning continues for Veterans Honor Roll restoration, at right).

At the end of a previous meeting the CPC had been reluctant to support the request from the HRC for approximately $115,000 for design and construction services to upgrade the town honor roll, since it did not seem to fit under the state guidelines for CPC expenditures. It was noted that the state department of revenue struggles with using historical funds for honor rolls. However, the HRC returned with information about a similar request that had been made in Cohasset. In that case the request had been described as parkland development and was viewed as a request for funding from the recreation category rather than historical.

Stevenson outlined the goals of the project which, in addition to constructing a stone memorial with bronze name plaques, would also involve grading the area under the flagpole. Although not part of the actual memorial, regrading of this area would allow better footing for ceremonies that are held around the flag. The CPC expressed relief that a way had been found to fit the request into the guidelines. CPC member Kent Gonzales noted, “It seems that our question about appropriate use of funds has been answered with this parkland concept. I would like to see some support for the numbers. The purpose fits now but I feel like we need a little more information.” The committee agreed to table this request until their next meeting.

Support for LCC planning

The CPC also heard from members of the group A Liveable Carlisle Community (LCC). According to member Deb Belanger, their purpose is to bring broad participation to a long-term decision-making model for informed choices about growth and preservation in Carlisle. The group requested support from the CPC for a townwide meeting or “charrette” which will be held on April 5. CPC chair Guarino noted, “I feel this could fit in. We started to do our draft goals on funding priorities [and] this would be a way to help us establish those priorities. The CPC agreed to support the LCC charrette with $200 from its administrative fund. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito