Letter to the Editor: Recommending Further Consideration of a Fire Substation

Submitted by Don Marshall

I get by with a walker these days, so I attend town meeting on ZOOM, and therefore l do not get to speak or vote.

I was thoroughly disappointed with the last meeting’s decision to not bother to start looking into the long-range needs for a substation. With the continued growth, the immense development planned for Carlisle Road, all that is going on in the NE area, etc., etc., it seems like the wise thing to do.

I do feel that the article was too restrictive, calling for only 2 months and prescribed the makeup of the committee so closely. A simple ad hoc committee, with the select board in their collective wisdom staffing it, might have been a better choice.

But gee – there are so many potential bottlenecks in town for fire engines. Imagine a rush hour emergency in the NE area and the fastest route is either over Brooksbie Road, with traffic lined up with 10 or 20 cars in the westernmost lane and no place to move out of the way; and the alternative is over a bridge built in 1926, (proudly displayed on its siding in bas relief) undergoing repairs. Just one of many scenarios that should be considered.

During the discussion of the article, reference was made to such a study being done 8 or 10 years ago. Is their report accessible to all?

It may even turn out that the recommendation of such a committee would be to simply rename the existing station as a substation.

The Board does not need a passed warrant article to form an ad hoc committee. I believe that they should do so now. 

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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Peter Ricci
April 4, 2024 5:32 pm

Mr. Marshall , I applaud your connection to the town and your history of service to the town. I would like to assist you in trying to find a way to get you to town meeting in the future whether it be a ride or a chair car. I’m sorry you couldn’t say your peace at a town meeting
It is important for people to realize that you’ve had decades of service to the town
In response to your post, I made a public statement that I think we can multitask as a town and plan two things at once. I’m sorry other people don’t think that way.

April 4, 2024 8:56 am

I think the TM’s rejection of an ad hoc committee was the prudent choice. As well, in your scenario above, the logjam at Brooksbie is always on the side trying to get onto Great Rd, not off it. When I think of a ladder truck trying to make that left, though, the word “gingerly” comes to mind. The select board should get moving on making that intersection normalized and signaled. Much cheaper and faster than a substation.

April 3, 2024 9:37 pm

The 2015 report is available on the New Fire Station Project page on the town’s website: https://www.bedfordma.gov/696/New-Fire-Station-Project

The main rebuttal at Town Meeting for Article 18 was not that a substation is unnecessary. It was that we need to get the main fire station sorted out first, especially because there was personnel overlap between the current project committee and the proposed one.

The Select Board said that a substation is potentially in the cards. From Bedford TV at about 1:55:00: https://www.youtube.com/live/I3-jhqeAbzI?si=ubbKOBTvjh0Qn9pr&t=6898

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