The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 5, 2009

Selectmen follow up on Town Meeting initiatives

At its May 26 meeting, the Carlisle Board of Selectmen (BOS) conducted a debriefing of Town Meeting held earlier in the month and selected three issues for its upcoming meeting agendas: projected use of the Highland Building, establishment of wind-turbine guidelines, and review of the library renovation.

Selectman Tim Hult noted the topic of the Highland Building generated the most controversy at the recent Town Meeting, passing 233 to 93. The Highland Building Study Committee will manage the phase-one renovation process with the $445,000 approved in community preservation funds. The next phase will require the identification of building uses and funding to support that future. Hult said, “The Selectmen have the responsibility to address future use sooner rather than later.”

John Ballantine, Highland Building Study committee member, said the committee would like to stay together through the first phase of renovations. He wondered if it made sense to form two committees, with one focused on the building preservation and the other forming an “ideas” committee to consider future uses. The BOS made no formal decision on whether to break the committee into two or create a new subcommittee to investigate usage, but will put the Highland Building on the upcoming June 9 agenda.

Private wind turbines meet resistance

With respect to the tabled “Solar Power Generation and Wind Conversion Systems Bylaw,” the Selectmen anticipate much future discussion. Selectman John Williams felt it was “important for us to address the public property aspect of law” as it could potentially impact the school building project. He wanted to get at least that component of the bylaw “in place.’’

Williams emerged as the first Selectman to publiclly oppose private property implementation of wind turbines: “I think it’s a bad idea to allow [wind turbines] on private residences. I think it will be very problematic and perhaps not generate a lot of power” and went on to “strongly advocate education first before we reconstitute the committee.” He said that he did not feel that Carlisle “is the right place” for residential wind turbines. The board did not schedule the item for the next meeting, but hopes to address the item in the near future.

The Selectmen did not anticipate the library renovation would require significant discussion at future meetings. Nonetheless, they will request that the Gleason Library Restoration Committee provide occasional status reports on progress, given the magnitude of the project using $775,000 in town funds. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito