The state law that regulates community preservation funds permits expenditures in three general categories: affordable housing, historic preservation, plus recreation and open space.
The Bedford Community Preservation Committee approved a list of almost 20 projects and programs for fiscal year 2025, and committee chair Erin Dorr observed, “This is a really robust list, and quite spread around the categories.”
The $2,118,605 in proposals, part of the March Annual Town Meeting warrant, are scheduled to be reviewed with the Select Board on Monday, Jan. 29, and the Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Town Meeting also will be asked to approve $870,940 in debt installments from past bonded projects, said Assistant Town Manager Amy Fidalgo.
She noted that if all of these expenditures are approved, a balance of $2.3 million will remain in the community preservation account.
Almost two-thirds of the proposed projects are in the recreation and open space category, the largest of which is $840,000 to pay for rehabilitation of the quarter-mile track at the Sabourin Field complex.
Town and school officials hope the work will be done simultaneously with replacement of the synthetic turf on the field, but that $1 million project will be voted as part of the capital budget because it is ineligible for community preservation funds.
Also, on the community preservation list is $249,630 to install rubberized surfacing, in accord with Americans with Disabilities Act standards, on the entire children’s playground on Mudge Way near the Town Center. Recreation Director Josh Smith said Friday the improvement was planned by the Recreation and Public Works departments after a recommendation from the Disability Commission to make the tot lot fully accessible.
The Community Preservation Committee approved a $75,000 allocation for the design of what is being called a “multipurpose pavilion,” expected to be located between the Kids’ Club play area and the tot lot swings. The project, which began as a citizens’ initiative, will incorporate a designer and a landscape architect. Construction costs will be addressed the following year.
A $60,000 pond management plan is intended to identify ways to manage invasive vegetation on all open bodies of water, including the ponds at the Wilson Mill site and the Buehler Conservation Area.
Fidalgo said a proposed $15,000 expense for a trails improvement master plan is intended to lead to future additions and improvements that could cost around $700,000. A $350,000 allocation for a Town Common improvement study and plan is intended to set the table for a $1 million construction project two years later.
The Recreation Commission is proposing a $52,000 long-range study of the potential for Springs Brook Park. Commission Chair Robin Steele told the committee that the study will be the start of a 10-year improvement plan.
Other recreation items are batting cages at Page Field and Field C for $46,000, and repairs to athletic field fencing for $24,750.
The Public Works Department is also seeking $20,000 for restoration of historic gravestones in the Old Burial Ground and Shawsheen Cemetery. The Facilities Department applied for $75,000 for repair of the Mudge Way exterior steps to the library, and $25,500 for restoration work on the freight house and adjacent rail car at Depot Park.
Another public facility targeted for funding is for siding at the Job Lane House. Fidalgo told the committee that half of the $145,000 expense would be returned if a state grant is approved.
Also, on the roster are $20,260 for archival records preservation; $18,480 for a rehousing of vital records; membership in the Regional Housing Service Office ($38,000); the life management program for Bedford Housing Authority residents ($38,952); and administration, including legal advertising ($15,000).