Friday, December 18, 2009
Board of Selectmen shorts, Dec. 10
• Dog license fees increase roughly 50%. A spayed or neutered dog license will cost $10 in 2010 and a female/male license will be $15. License fees for kennels will also increase. Town Clerk Charlene Hinton made the request, and it was approved by the Board of Selectmen at their December 10 meeting. Hinton offered some statistics. Usually 700 tags are issued in a year and there are seven to nine kennels in town with more than three dogs. She expects a 10 to 15% increase in compliance with the license requirement this coming year because her office and the dog officer will be tracking information from veterinarians on rabies vaccinations.
• Fiber optic communication cable. Fire Chief Dave Flannery gave a presentation recommending installation of a 24-pair fiber optic cable between the school (the highest point in town and the location of the communication antenna) and the fire/police communication center. Police Chief John Sullivan was not present at the meeting but did contribute to the budget request and cost summary. At present, telephone lines are leased from Verizon at a yearly cost of $3,700 but the cost of the leased lines will increase substantially. Reliability and communication quality concerns and the imminent replacement of the Fire Department transmitter, which has already been purchased, will require a phone line upgrade and more lines. Each upgraded line will cost $134 per month rather than the present $40 per month.
The estimated yearly cost for an upgraded leased phone line system with the additional lines is $9,096. Estimated cost of the fiber optic system is $45,000 with a yearly maintenance of $200 to $300. If authorized, the fiber optic system will go out for competitive bids.Flannery’s most persuasive point was that the “pay-back” time for the fiber optic approach would be approximately five years. Donald Rober of the Long Term Capital Requirements Committee spoke in favor of a proposal to spend money that has some savings.”
• Ferns’ victualer’s license renewed. Having received the $25 fee and the necessary signoffs from the Building Inspector and the Board of Health, the Selectmen renewed the common victualer’s license for Ferns. As an aside Selectman Tim Hult expressed the board’s appreciation for Ferns’ organization of “Christmas on the Common,” and said that 100 to 150 kids got to see Santa.
• DPW and the first snowstorm.The board expressed its appreciation to the DPW and Gary Davis for “handling a one-inch snowstorm that turned into seven inches and came during commuting time.”
• Highland committees merged.During August the Selectmen had approved two subcommittees, one to work on the stabilization repair project at the Highland School, and the other to study and make recommendations as to the building’s disposition once it has been stabilized. Peter Scavongelli, the Selectman representative on the committees, gave a brief update on their progress and made a special request that the committees be melded into one. He said that since October they have been meeting jointly and that both charges from the Selectmen – stabilization and future recommendations – would be effectively handled as one committee. The Selectmen voted to grant the request and to authorize issuance of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) for designer services for the stabilization project. Goddard indicated that they have already had 30 inquiries from architects and design firms.
• Appointments. Acting on recommendation of the Conservation Commission, the Selectmen appointed Debra Kimbrell-Anderson as Conservation Commissioner to replace Tom Schultz who left in June. She has had extensive experience as a biologist and manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a strong emphasis on wetlands and wetland-dependent plants and wildlife. Her term will expire in June 2012.
• Vacancies. Town Administrator Tim Goddard advised the board that with the resignation of Wendell Sykes there is a vacancy on the Carlisle School Committee. Goddard was asked to advertise the opening and to set up a joint meeting with the School Committee to make the selection.
The five-member Personnel Board requires a quorum of three members to meet legally and transact business. At present there are only two members, Jo-Ann Driscoll and Laurel Ostram. The Selectmen will advertise the opportunity for volunteers to serve on this important committee. ∆
© 2009 The