At their September 9 meeting, the Selectmen reviewed several Department of Public Works contracts, received an update on progress of the Historical Society’s proposed museum, and reviewed the warrant for the upcoming Special Town Meeting. The meeting began after a 30-minute executive session to discuss union contracts.
Department of Public Works Contracts
DPW Engineer Adrienne St. John was present to answer the Selectmen’s questions about several DPW contracts. The Selectmen unanimously approved Hartford, Crescent, and Bacon roadway change orders. St. John estimated that the project would conclude towards the end of October.
St. John discussed the Department’s process in search of two new police cruisers which had been funded at the 2019 Annual Town Meeting. The choice of electric or hybrid cruisers sparked interest among the Selectmen but collapsed when it became clear it was not feasible due to the lack of supply on the East Coast.
St. John also noted that the DPW would be retiring one unused vehicle. Selectman Bill Moonan welcomed this news. “Those who are worried about the number of town vehicles should be happy to learn that there is now one fewer vehicle,” Moonan said. The contract was approved.
Davis Road Boardwalk Project
In response to prior concerns over the environmental effect of the project, St. John explained the adaptations for the boardwalk. Prior to being positioned along the Davis Road wetlands, the boardwalk would be preassembled. St. John confirmed that this measure would limit the possibility of environmental distress. Selectman Emily Mitchell questioned St. John over the likelihood of sidewalks at the entrance and exit of the boardwalk. To her satisfaction, St. John confirmed they would be included.
While reviewing the length of the contract, Selectman Mike Rosenberg asked St. John about the timetable for the project. “The contract is for a year; do we expect it to take that long?” Rosenberg asked.
“I’m not exactly sure, but I do not expect it to take that long,” St. John replied. The Davis Road Boardwalk project passed with a unanimous vote.
Historical Society Museum Update
In continuation of the long-term collaboration between the Selectmen and the Bedford Historical Society, Selectman Moonan provided the Board with an update on the History Museum. Selectmen Margot Fleischman, Edward Pierce, and Emily Mitchell all raised concerns over the financial integrity of the project. Carol Amick, a board member of the Bedford Historical Society, answered questions on the project. Unable to reach an agreement, the Selectmen tabled the discussions until a later date.
Draft Review Warrant and Consent Agenda
Town Manager Sarah Stanton addressed the Draft Warrant Review for the proposed special town meeting planned for November 4 at 7 pm. The warrant passed unanimously.
Stanton provided the Selectmen with a brief overview of their upcoming month, mentioning new solar and net-zero initiatives and possible separated bike-lanes along Great Road. Stanton also reminded the Selectmen of the importance of Bedford’s Dusk to Dawn policy to combat the spread of EEE (See more information here).