With 2013 underway, two members of the Mansfield Board of Selectmen heard from the town’s boards and committees last night to better understand what their plans for the year are.
Going forward, a few of the boards shared the theme of expanding revenue though the Cabot Business Park while others are preparing for the town meeting later this year.
Despite the effort to work with the other boards, only Chairman Olivier Kozlowski and Selectman Doug Annino were present as the other three members were unable to make the meeting. The lack of a quorum meant that the two selectmen present were unable to hold actual selectmen meeting afterwards.
Looking to help bring more business into Mansfield and expand the tax base, the planning board has been looking at how to properly zone the planned business district inside the Cabot Business Park.
The board is also looking at revising the bylaws for zones B1 and B2 located in downtown and B3 and B4 which are in the business park. According to Chairman Thomas French, the changes for zoning in the business park include allowing for less parking to increase building space. The revisions are being made in an effort to encourage higher commercial growth and therefore increase the value of property in Mansfield and to avoid an override ballot question for the Mansfield Public Schools.
Currently, the board is still working on the draft and is looking to complete them after receiving input from the selectmen and from the public at a hearing on the changes.
The draft will be available on the Mansfield town website when completed. After the revisions are made, the bylaws will be sent to the next town meeting for a vote.
Preparing the FY14 budget has the committee quite busy these days. Chairwoman Liz Crystal also mentioned that there is an interest in drafting a financial policy on the stabilization fund, specifically how much to put in.
The committee is also looking for ways to increase revenue such as expanding the Cabot Business Park.
Parks and Recreation
It may be winter but the department is getting ready for the summer. An updated facility use form has been distributed but fees have increased to keep up with similar fees in the area.
The summer and fall catalog of activities is expected to be mailed out around mid-February and camp registration is expected to start on March 4.
Once again the Great Duck Race will kick off the town’s summer activities with the committee lining up acts for Arts in the Park and the Concert on the Common.
There was also a request put in by parks and recreation for a grant from the non-profit gift fund for banners to advertise events over Route 106 in downtown Mansfield.
Board of Library Trustees
After decades working in the Mansfield Public Library, Director Janet Campbell will be retiring on March 22. The departure has left the town with an opening for a new library director that the trustees are hoping to fill quickly. Chairman Joe Flynn said that the board would look at the first batch of resumes this weekend with the hope that a new director would be ready to go when Campbell leaves.
While circulation is down, the use of the library is up as residents continue to use the library as a place for electronic resources and research Flynn said. A second librarian researcher was recently hired to help with the transition from a place to borrow books to place of research.
According to Flynn, there are roughly 18,000 active library cards in use in Mansfield
According to committee Chairman Carl Lambrecht a new lease with the airport’s main tenant is one of the recent accomplishments of the commission
In addition, Rod Stearns has recently joined the board as a commissioner and Bob Andrews has announced his intent to retire.
While there has been a decrease in using the airport for flying purposes, the SRE building as become a popular meeting place for the boy scouts and other town groups. Although there are less student and recreational fliers due to the economy, the airport has seen an increase in use from medflights that need a place to land and for business flights for companies in the area.
Also, Lambrecht has been mentoring a Mansfield High School student for their senior project. The senior is studying wing design with help from Lambrecht.
Mansfield Housing Corporation
After some housekeeping in 2012, the board has recently been given tax exemption status by the IRS. The board is looking at creating more options for affordable housing either on their own or with a charity group but currently Mansfield is above their requirement for affordable housing from the state. There may be however, a need for more with future development.