Select Board Waives Fees to Support Struggling Restaurants

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The Select Board Monday voted to waive local license fees for restaurants in 2021.

The decision, recommended by Economic Development Director Alyssa Sandoval, covers victualer and liquor licenses.

Town Manager Sarah Stanton told the board that, although the revenue loss would be around $64,000, the waiver “would be a gesture of goodwill to our restaurant and business community” battered by limitations in response to Covid-19.

She also noted that other categories of local revenue in the current fiscal year are robust enough to help compensate for the loss.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the town manager provided an update of the town’s Covid-19 response. Under the November 6 statewide order from Gov. Charlie Baker, all persons over the age of five must wear masks. Stanton announced that the Bedford Police Department would enforce a $300 fine for refusal to wear a mask.

Stanton announced there was only a single new Covid-19 case in June at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. Furthermore, Stanton said that the new Covid-19 testing initiative for town employees has been successful and well-received.

The town has sought to expand its testing capacity by inviting the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to construct a “Stop the Spread” site at Middlesex Community College

Stanton also reiterated the order’s reduction of private residents’ indoor gatherings to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. Additionally, all gatherings, public and private, must end by 9:30 pm. The early closure order similarly applies to in-person dining, liquor stores, gyms, and youth sports.

The executive order also instructs residents to stay home between 10 pm and 5 am, although it allows for activities such as going to work, running critical errands, and addressing health concerns.

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