The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 23, 2009

News from surrounding towns

The following news items were extracted from material available online:

Farmers markets may offer wine. Farmers markets may someday include wine from local wineries if proposed legislation is adopted. The legislation is sponsored by Acton’s State Senator James Eldridge and supported by the Massachusetts Farm Winery and Growers Association. If the proposal is approved, growers would need to comply with existing local and state license requirements for retail wine sales. (“Eldridge pushes wine sales at farmers market,” October 17, www.wickedlocal.com)

Bear-ly there. Police have reported a bear-sighting at Billerica’s Warren H. Manning State Park on October 18, and another bear was seen moving through private yards and climbing fences in the neighboring town of Tewksbury on October 17. (“Police report Billerica bear sighting, October 19, www.lowellsun.com)

Schools

Maynard seeks school regionalization partner. Maynard is investigating possible regionalization with neighboring high schools. Last spring the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District stated they were not currently interested, and recently the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District also turned them down, citing inadequate space to accommodate the 350 students enrolled in Maynard. The Maynard high school is also looking at possible consolidation with Littleton, Lincoln-Sudbury or Nashoba Regional high schools. (“A-B declines regional request from Maynard,” October 12, www.wickedlocal.com)

Bedford opens middle school student center. Bedford’s Recreation Department has opened a supervised after-school drop-in center for middle schoolers at the Town Center. Activities include organized games, homework or conversation with friends, early-release-day activities and trips. (“A home away from home,” October 14, www.wickedlocal.com)

Town government

Department merger defeated. On Monday, October 19 Westford Town Meeting decided against creating a new Department of Public Works (DPW) along with the new position of DPW Director, merging responsibilities shared by several departments for maintenance of public facilities and roads. The new position was to oversee annual public works expenditures of roughly $10 million and savings from the merger had been estimated at several hundred thousand dollars over the next five years. (“DPW voted down in Westford,” October 20, www.lowellsun.com) and (“Westford Town Manager says new DPW will save money,” October 15, www.wickedlocal.com)

CPA requests. Concord’s Community Preservation Committee will consider the following applications for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding: Fowler Library renovations; John Ball House interpretation;Peter Bulkeley Terrace redevelopment;White Pond Management Plan; Mill Brook footbridge; Concord School of Philosophy restoration and accessibility; Drinking Gourd Project; Lalli Woods affordable housing development; Warner’s Pond Watershed Management Plan; Emerson Theater floor and seating renovations; Scout House building rehabilitation; and Concord’s Open Space Reserve Fund. Concord raises CPA funds through a 1.5% real estate tax surcharge, augmented by state matching grants. (“Concord receives 12 applications for CPA funds,” October 12, www.wickedlocal.com)

Zoning change falls short. A proposal to create a mixed-use overlay zoning district to allow residential development in Billerica’s Town Center failed to pass at Town Meeting. This was the second time the proposal was voted down, both times with a majority in favor, but not the two-thirds majority needed. (“Mixed-use fails again at Town Meeting,” October 15, www.wickedlocal.com)

Billerica Town Manager search. Billerica’s search committee has recommended three finalists from which the Billerica selectmen will choose a replacement for Town Manager Bill Williams who resigned “after making comments at a greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce meeting that the town lacked curb appeal and that its residents were one of the impediments to development.” Finalists include: Maynard Town Administrator John Curran, Mansfield Town Manager John D’Agostino and Concord Deputy Town Manager Douglas Meagher.(“Finalists chosen in town manager search,” October 16, www.wickedlocal.com) ∆


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