Friday, December 5, 2008
Selectmen shorts, November 25
• Delay Special Town Meeting? Former Selectman and Fiske Street resident John Ballantine presented a bleak report on the immediate economic outlook for the nation, state, and town. He presented data projecting job losses through 2009 and higher unemployment in 2010 resulting in declining housing prices and drops in personal income and wealth. He does believe that the situation will improve in the future, but recommended caution on town expenditures and advised against a Special Town Meeting in January held primarily to fund school expansion.
• OPM contract signed. The Selectmen approved and signed a $25,000 contract with Daedalus Projects for management or preliminary design work as requested by the School Building Committee. The Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) agreement covers preliminary services to help the town select a design firm and prepare for a Town Meeting vote on design funding. If voters approve the project, another contract is planned to cover the bulk of OPM services.
Committee Chair Lee Storrs reported that he has requested more exact information in terms of percentage and schedule on state reimbursements for the project, and hopes to have information by the next Selectmen’s meeting on December 9. Selectman Timothy Hult noted that this data is critical for the community to evaluate projected expenditures.
The Selectmen decided that if a Special Town Meeting in January occurs, they will make the cafeteria available for babysitting as well as provide additional attendee space as necessary. The Selectmen decided also to include a request to make Carriage Way a town road on the Warrant.
• COA town survey. In mid-January, each household in Carlisle will receive two copies of a survey designed to assess the needs of town residents. Jim Elgin, chair of the survey committee, stated that the survey has had two rounds of testing and fine tuning and should take about 15 minutes to complete. Topics cover demographics, quality of life, health, recreation, housing, transportation, town government, and community activities and attitudes.
• Ferns licenses renewed. Larry Bearfield requested and received a liquor license for Ferns Country Store. Town fees of $1,000 will be prorated from the time the store actually begins selling liquor which will probably not begin until the fall of 2009. The Selectmen also renewed the Ferns victualers license.
• Benfield update. Housing Authority Chair Alan Lehotsky said the developer selection process for the Benfield parcel is underway and the Housing Authority hopes to select a finalist in the near future. After receiving a ground lease for a portion of the South Street property, the developer is to build and manage 26 units of senior affordable rental housing on the site. Eugenia Harris has resigned from the authority and, according to Lehotsky, the group is seeking a new member with a background in “architecture, real estate, and affordable housing.”
• Cable contract. Comcast has initiated a request for contract renewal of its cable communications services. The Selectmen would like input from residents with concerns about either lack of service or poor service. Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie encourages residents to send concerns via the town website.
• Police contract. Carlisle Police Chief John Sullivan has sent a letter requesting that negotiations begin for a new three-year employee contract. ∆
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