Town Manager Recommends November 14 for Bedford’s 2022 Special Town Meeting

July 28, 2022

The 2022 fall town meeting will be later and smaller than usual.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be short.

Town Manager Sarah Stanton told the Select Board at its meeting Monday that she is recommending Monday, Nov. 14, for the upcoming special town meeting.

Past fall town meetings have been scheduled for the first Monday in November, but Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, is Election Day, and many members of town staff will be preparing for what is expected to be a healthy turnout of voters.

Stanton told the board she expects only six articles on the warrant. None of them will be zoning articles.

But one of those six articles is already generating a lot of interest.

Annual town meeting on March 29 approved a $1.5 million community preservation fund allocation to purchase easements that would permit construction of the Minuteman Bikeway extension. But the vote to authorize the Select Board to execute the acquisitions was short of the two-thirds minimum required to approve eminent domain proceedings.

Initially it appeared that the decision would doom the long-standing bikeway project, since it was slotted for state and federal funding during the current fiscal year. But an infusion of unanticipated federal money in fiscal year 2024 could be a lifeline for the project, if town meeting approves the easement funding.

The $11 million proposal includes a shared-use path, sidewalk, and drainage improvements on Railroad Avenue.

The town manager said that to make the Nov. 14 target, articles will be due by Aug. 31 and the Select Board will close the warrant on Sept. 26. Printed warrants are targeted to arrive in residences on Oct. 31, she said.

Revision 7/30/2022 to clarify the distinction between the two votes on the bikeway extension at Annual Town Meeting.

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763

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