Select Board Unanimously Approves Bedford’s FY20__ Capital Expenditures Plan

The proposed $7.6 million bond for purchasing the land and building at the corner of The Great Road and Webber Avenue as the site for a new fire station will not appear on the 2021 town meeting warrant.

Town Manager Sarah Stanton told the Select Board Monday that the article, which was indefinitely postponed in the stripped-down Town Meeting warrant in July 2020, will remain “indefinitely postponed.”

The other two major bonds originally planned for this year — $6.4 million for police station expansion and renovation and $2.5 million for new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment in the library — will return to the warrant in 2021.

Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for May 15, 2021, almost two months later than usual, so it can take place safely outside in a less threatening Covid-19 environment.

The December 7 Select Board meeting featured a presentation by the Capital Expenditure Committee. While summarizing its recommendations, Town Manager Sarah Stanton announced that the fire station site purchase proposal would remain indefinitely postponed. There were no questions or other reactions from any board members.

Later in the week, Board Chair Ed Piece maintained that progress toward a new fire station is still among the Select Board’s goals for the current year. Stanton said the proposed acquisition may be on an upcoming Select Board agenda.

Antonio Battaglia, chair of the Capital Expenditures Committee, provided background at Monday’s meeting of the incoming capital expenditures projects for fiscal year 2022, as well as projects continuing through fiscal 2027 as part of the long-range capital plan.

He noted that the proposed police station improvements and new library ventilation are important components to the town’s achieving its net-zero goal.

The Select Board unanimously approved the 2022 capital expenditures plan, which included projects from the Department of Public Works, Bedford Public Schools, and Facilities. The total to be raised from the tax levy is $2.35 million, a 6.7 percent decrease from the current year. Several projects will be funded by other sources, including community preservation funds, the recreation revolving fund, state highway aid, and water revenues.

Ryan Doucette contributed to this article.


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