Friday, April 3, 2009
Thanks for warm welcome
To the Editor:
On March 3, I returned from duty in Baghdad, Iraq to a surprise police escort (Monica thinks I wouldn’t have gone willingly) and a great welcome home from Carlisle residents. After a one-year Air Force deployment, it was incredible to have such a warm reception and show of support. A special thanks to Larry Bearfield of Ferns Country Store and Selectman Doug Stevenson, the Carlisle Police Department, and everyone who was at the Carlisle Town Office to greet us. Thank you to everyone who was there earlier in the evening as well. I love the photo. I also want to thank Monica, my wonderful wife, whose strength and support over the year was incredible.
Why schematic design funds now?
To the Editor:
Some townspeople have asked why not postpone the school building project, given the difficult economy? The School Building Committee has deliberated this issue for some time and recommends moving forward for several reasons.
1. MSBA commitment - The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has committed to fund 40% of the project including schematic design.
2. Top of the MSBA queue - Of 423 school projects put forth to the MSBA, Carlisle is one of only 11 projects moved to this schematic design phase. Given the number of projects vying for a declining pool of state revenue, it will be very difficult for us to find our way back into the MSBA queue if we don’t move forward now.
3. Spalding condition - In recent years the Spalding building has had numerous facility issues including mold, roof leaks, termites, boiler break, and water entering classrooms from under the floor slab. So far, the school has managed most of these issues on a short term basis without large capital outlays. However, as a minimum it will be necessary to replace the roofs and possibly the heating system in the next few years. It does not make sense to make these costly repairs if the building will be replaced.
4. Maintain project momentum - The funds being requested now allow design development to move forward at a relatively low impact to taxpayers. We anticipate requesting funds for the balance of the project a year from now when the economy should be turning around.
5. Competitive market - Currently, bidding on construction projects is very competitive and borrowing costs are at historic lows. Proceeding expeditiously improves our chances of taking advantage of these conditions.
6. Minimal initial tax impact - The Town would borrow the initial schematic design funds on a short-term basis, paying interest only. This would amount to approximately $8 per year for an $800,000 property. Of course, as the project moves forward and we borrow construction funds, this number would be significantly higher, depending on the final design, peaking in 2015.
Lee Storrs, chair
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