Friday, June 6, 2008
Board of Selectmen shorts, May 27
• FY08 shortfall. Local receipts for FY08 are short by $50,000 to $60,000 due to lower than expected construction permitting this spring. Also, a judgment on a second Benfield roll-back tax case has gone against the town, resulting in a $105,000 assessment if the town pays immediately. If the town appeals, the original $83,000 levy will continue to collect interest at 8%. The Reserve Fund has about $145,000 after Town Meeting transfers but $100,000 is needed for budget overruns including snow removal. The Selectmen will consider options for covering the cost overruns at a meeting in June or July.
•School building project. The Carlisle School Building Committee has had issues with hiring the project manager and it now seems unlikely to be prepared in time for a fall Town Meeting. Two subcommittees have been set up, one to complete the RFP and one to revisit the Master Plan with new demographic information. John Ballantine reported that the Carlisle School population will likely drop to 600 or 700 within the next five years. “It could be below that if births don’t increase and if real estate doesn’t come back.” By 2025 it is expected to rise again to the 750 range. (See “Enrollment declines weighed in Carlisle School building plans,” page 1.)
• Pathways update. Deb Belanger provided an update on pathways. Pathways are in on Lowell and Concord Streets, except the area cornering Church Street. “For the record we are not done,” said Belanger, noting a chip seal will be applied in the historic areas of town once the weather warms sufficiently. Bedford Road is done except for a drainage area and another spot requiring a conservation waiver. East Street is next. Loam will be added to disguise crushed stone on the sides of the pathways which cannot be removed because it is part of the structure. Two new areas have been identified needing pathways, one from the crosswalk to Ferns, and one from the ATM to School Street.
It is hoped current funding will be sufficient to pay for these, although police details have eaten into the contingency budget. The police details, funded at one man, have instead sometimes required two or three at $50 per hour.
John Bakewell of the Pathways Committee is working with the Trails Committee on a map designating walking areas that combine pathways and the trails system.
A walking school bus, which consists of a group of school children walking to school who pick up others along the way, is planned for September.
• Utility poles. Kelly-Ann Condon of Verizon asked for permission to place three poles and remove one on Westford Street, one just west of Cross Street and the others 1324 and 1435 feet east of Cross Street, all on the north side. The poles are needed for the Hanover Hills subdivision.
There was some discussion of refusing permission until Verizon provides upgraded services and removal of a pole in the Town Center that is holding up pathway installation. Condon responded, “As far as holding up the petition, it’s not fair to the builder building the subdivision.” She assured the Selectmen that the pole in the center would be removed in the next week or so. The Selectmen signed off on the petition contingent on removal of the pole. Selectman Tim Hult noted that the plan for high speed communications “is one of the top five questions we get all the time.”
• Library restoration. Library Trustee Dale Ryder appeared on behalf of the committee in charge of the Gleason Library building restoration. She noted a “talented and very experienced” group has been assembled and is drafting a request for proposals. She requested a Selectman liaison and Alan Carpenito and Tim Hult agreed to attend upcoming meetings. Doug Stevenson suggested including “thoughts on insulation and energy efficiency,” adding, “Now’s the time we should be looking at that.”
• Fields maintenance. The Selectmen approved a contract between the Recreation Commission and DLM Management of Carlisle for Spalding and Banta Davis field maintenance, mowing and grooming at a maximum $29,100 per year. The contract is for one year with the option to extend an additional two.
• Events. The Congregational Church will have a Concert in the Park on July 13 at 4 p.m. with the Pneuma Quintet. The Selectmen approved use of the Town Common. It was noted there will also be a celebration of Center Park’s first birthday on Saturday June 28.
• Appointments. John A. Luther, Jr. of Stoneham was appointed as Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer. A former contractor, he has been employed as Director of Inspectional Services in Melrose since 2004, and previously was an inspector in Stoneham. He appeared before the selectmen and explained that his experience in those towns had convinced him that “It’s much better to be proactive in working with 40B developers.”
Janne Corneil was appointed to the School Building Committee, filling an opening for an architect. The selectmen also voted to extend the committee from 15 to 17 members.
Dave Verrill, Dave Model, and Ed Sullivan were reappointed to the FinCom.
• Septic management loans. The Selectmen signed a document presented by the Board of Health approving Carlisle’s enlistment in the Community Septic Management Program, as approved at Town Meeting. The document identifies criteria for issuing low-cost loans, funded by the state, for upgrading septic systems.
• Boy Scout visit. The Boy Scouts were present and asked questions about being a Selectmen. Tim Hult noted “We don’t get paid in money but get back in serving the town.” Scout Drew T. Lockwood was congratulated for reaching the level of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor to be held in June.
• Memorial Day. A number of people were thanked for their contributions to Memorial Day ceremonies, including Judy Larson, Alan Carpenito, Dave Flannery, and John Sullivan, and Larry Bearfield who cleaned and painted the Honor Rolls. Phyllis Zinicola was remembered for her service on the Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Benfield. Tim Hult noted, “We will miss her personally and miss her efforts for the town.”
• Town Meeting was deemed a success with Doug Stevenson noting “There was good discussion and debate. It went as smoothly as any Town Meeting I’ve seen in a number of years.” It was suggested that some articles could be consolidated into one vote, the extra room for babysitting may not be worth the $300 expense, and the selectmen need a bigger table. A format for Powerpoint presentations that can be viewed on CCTV will also be established.
• A citizen complaint was received regarding ongoing flooding on Stearns Street. The complaint will be investigated.
• Schedule. The Selectmen plan a summer schedule of meetings June 10 and 24, July 8, and August 12. A strategy meeting will also be planned. The schedule will be confirmed at the next meeting.
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