The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 1, 2009

Selectmen drop wind turbine bylaw from TM

Support Gleason, Highland

On April 28 the Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted to withdraw the Wind Turbine bylaw, Article 33, from the Town Warrant at the request of the Alternative Energy Committee. A number of objections to the bylaw had been raised by the Planning Board, including concerns about ambient noise and migratory birds. Bill Tice, BOS representative to the Alternative Energy Committee, noted that at a meeting April 26, the committee reviewed some of the Planning Board concerns and “saw some merit in three out of four. After two hours we agreed there should be some further work done on this bylaw.”

Tice noted the committee had been formulated for one year and is about to expire. He said most members would stay on and suggested adding expertise or hiring consultants in the area of acoustics. Selectman John Williams said the committee charter should be reviewed when it is reconstituted, but Tice noted, “It’s not a charter issue. There are several technical issues we need to go deeper on.” The BOS voted unanimously to support the committee’s decision and table the bylaw for the time being. A BOS meeting after Town Meeting will brainstorm new approaches.

Six to eight voters had appeared to support withdrawal, and Dale Issacs of Heald Road spoke for them, saying, “The Planning Board did a fine job. There were serious technical issues that were not addressed.” Bob Koning of the committee noted that the PB had been very helpful in raising issues. “The most important thing learned is that this is a new technology for this country,” he said. “A lot of the answers aren’t there. Sometime it will catch up.”

Article 12 - Funds for CCHS

Other Warrant articles were reviewed. The BOS voted unanimously to support Warrant Article 12 providing $750,000 for the high school, including $500,000 in capital items and $250,000 for a planning study. Regional School committee member Louis Salemy noted that if the state does not agree to fund a high school building project this year, a study will be needed to prioritize needs and come up with a time-phased plan for going forward. School accreditation could be forfeited if the high school does not address some current building shortfalls. Concord has already authorized their portion of the regional expenditure.

Article 8

The BOS, which supported Article 8, would transfer $72,000 from insurance and benefits to the Reserve Fund. These funds would then be set aside for an overage in Snow and Ice removal, due to a harsh winter. It was noted that FEMA has approved $60,000 in emergency funding to Carlisle, and this will offset the cost when it is received.

Articles 22 and 23

The BOS also unanimously supported, in one vote, all motions of Article 22 containing recommendations of the CPC committee for transfer and disbursement of CPA funds, including financing of Gleason Library and Highland Building projects, as well as an Open Spaces study.

Mark Spears of the Recreation Committee (RecCom) had heard that the Finance Committee had voted the night before not to support fixing up the Highland. He noted, “One thing we (the RecCom) have not done well is present our long-term goals” adding, “Something kind of on the agenda is a community center.” He noted this interest had been “on the agenda for two decades” and is “not in the budget for this year or next.” But “We do need meeting space” and see the Highland as having “tremendous potential for community use.” Doug Stevenson suggested a meeting between the BOS and RecCom to work on this further. Alan Carpenito noted,“The building offers the community an opportunity to get a $5 million building for $2 million.” Recycling it “would save money in the long run.” No action was taken on Article 23 for demolition of the Highland Building.

Moderator Tom Raftery expressed optimism that Town Meeting could be contained to one night. The removal of mosquito control and wind turbines will make that more likely. Doug Stevenson suggested 45 minutes be reserved for the school building discussion and another 45 minutes for the Highland Building. Raftery noted, “The things we think are going to take a long time are sometimes gone in six seconds.” He pointed to marijuana as a possible sleeper issue and suggested the selectmen subscribe to Yahoo’s “City in the Woods” Carlisle blog. “Many comment who should attend meetings and don’t.” He added, “Lurk and see what people think.”

Raftery said he had rejected a request of the School Committee to present on the superintendency union, noting there is no proposal and the consultant has not yet offered any recommendations. He suggested the committee use public forums and the Mosquito to educate the public on the union. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito