Historic Preservation Commission Wrestles With Concerns Over Willson Park

By Jaime Craven

At their June 6 meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) discussed policy for declaring a building historically significant, and thus “preferably preserved,” in accordance with Bedford’s Demolition Delay Bylaw. The current bylaw holds that the owner of a building completed before January 1, 1943 must submit a written application to the HPC before he or she can demolish the potentially historic property.

Strategies Discussed for Town Land Acquisition

By Eliza Rosenberry

The Land Acquisition Committee heard from town Planning representatives at its Tuesday, June 6 meeting on the subject of Planned Residential Developments (PRDs).

Planning Board member Jeff Cohen and Planning Director Tony Fields appeared before the committee to discuss how PRDs could fit into the town’s approach to land acquisition.

The Land Acquisition Committee aims to identify land in Bedford that the Town might purchase with the goal of preserving natural resources or using the land for municipal or recreational purposes. The Committee maintains a list of these land parcels that are of interest.

Town of Bedford Honored as an MHP Housing Hero

By Dot Bergin

“There is probably no town in the Commonwealth more deserving of our Housing Hero award than the town of Bedford,” said Clark Ziegler, Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, at the June 8 MHP Housing Institute, where our town and two other organizations were honored for their affordable housing achievements.

Town Government at Work: Bedford Board & Committee Meetings for the Week of June 12, 2017

By Meredith McCulloch

Several interesting meetings are coming up during the week of June 12:

The Bedford Selectmen will meet on Monday night at 7:30 pm to review proposed revisions to the FY18 ambulance rates. Another item of interest is a decision on whether to exercise a one-year contract option for DASH, Bedford’s expanded local transit bus service.

Assessors Settle Tax Dispute with Verizon

By Lizzie Seibert

At its May 25 meeting, the Finance Committee heard from the Board of Assessors that Bedford has settled its dispute over property taxes, making it possible to release $2.4 million from the Overlay Reserve Account.

The Town has been holding that amount in the reserve account in case the court ruled against the town in a dispute about property taxes assessed on Verizon equipment. The funds no longer need to be held in reserve for possible abatement, but now will become available to the town as free cash. [Overlay Reserves are defined on the Town’s website: Overlay Reserve:Unused accumulated amount of overlay for previous years that is not required to be held in a specific overlay account for a given year. Once released by the Board of Assessors, the funds may be used for any municipal purpose.]

Finance Committee Reviews the Bedford Education Association Teacher Contract

By Lizzie Seibert

Bedford School Superintendent Jon Sills presented details about the School Department’s recently negotiated contract with Bedford’s Educators Association at the Finance Committee’s May 25 meeting. The contract will include cost of living adjustments (COLA), with increases of 2% in 2018, 2.5% in 2019, and 2% in 2020, as well as an additional professional day per year.

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