$30M bond to help Bedford streets up for March vote
The Town Council is also requesting a $4 million bond to build a fire substation along South River Road, as calls for service continue to increase in that area of town.
After examining two debt payment scenarios for the road bond, the council decided to issue a 15-year term rather than a 10-year term. Although the repayment schedule is longer, the annual tax rate impact is lower over the life of the bond.
In 2003, about 130 miles of roads needed $50 million in repairs, Levine said. Voters approved an $8 million bond in 2003 and a $12 million bond in 2005. However, voters defeated the next three road bonds, and many roads and bridges fell into disrepair. In addition, a $13.2 million infrastructure bond was approved in 2011, of which about $12 million is slated for road and bridge repairs.
The need for a fire station is the result of increased housing and businesses cropping up along South River Road, said Fire Chief Scott Wiggin.
In 1980, there were 217 fire calls and 264 calls for emergency services, as compared to 620 fire calls and 1,376 EMS calls in 2010, townwide. From 2004 to 2012, ambulance calls to the South River Road area increased from 272 to 882.
The cost for a new ambulance and equipment of $310,000 is included in the proposed 2014 operating budget, which will go before voters at the annual Budgetary Town Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, at Bedford High School.
Bedford taxpayers still owe about $92,000 for the safety complex bond from 1994, with a maturity date of July 2014; $350,000 for the new library building through March 2016; $3.8 million for the 2006 road bond through July 2016; $585,000 for the 1999 landfill closure bond until January 2019; $5.7 million for the 2011 infrastructure bond until December 2021; and $7.9 million for the 2013 infrastructure bond payable through January 2023.
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