Short Takes: The Selectmen’s Meeting on June 17th

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By Ben Oleksinski

At their June 17 meeting, the Selectmen made ad hoc committee appointments, approved new building contracts, and explored a potential policy for 5G service in Bedford.

Committee Appointments
Julie Turner and Cheryl Milroy were selected to become members of the ad hoc Bedford 300 Exploratory Task Force. In their interviews, Turner and Milroy expressed their commitment and involvement with the town. They will be tasked with getting independent research on similar celebrations in neighboring towns and starting informally to plan for Bedford’s 300th anniversary.

Contracts
Contracts were approved for several projects and agreements in town.

Context Architecture was hired for the architectural services in the Bedford Police Department renovation project at $380,000. The project is targeting a start for fiscal year 2021; the aim is to have an entire package ready by January 2020. Net Zero standards will be a main consideration.

Selectmen approved ongoing participation in the RHSO (Regional Housing Services Office) with the recent removal of Burlington and the addition of Lincoln. The Local Initiative Program, a regulatory agreement that places a perpetual affordable housing restriction on the development, was approved; individual condo units will also have an affordable housing restriction attached to each deed at closing.

Selectmen approved an intermunicipal Veteran’s District Agreement with additional funds to offset hours for several employees. There was no major change to the Agreement barring the slight uptick in funds.

5G Technology Policy Discussion
Plans for an early, comprehensive 5G cellular network technology policy were brought up in anticipation of its deployment. While there remain no requests for 5G yet in town, this can be seen as a proactive measure by the Selectmen. The significance of the technology largely depends on location and capacity, with transmitters installed on utility poles throughout the town.

The draft will be adapted from an existing Burlington policy, with emphasis on Bedford specifics. Research will be conducted on the medical, environmental, and aesthetic impacts 5G might have.

The policy remains at an information-gathering stage at this time.