Vote yes on Bedford road bond
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
To the Editor:
I support the $30 million dollar road bond both as a resident and a councilor. It is time to finish a program begun in 2003 and rescue 2,000 residences from their road issues. These people have paid for other’s newly repaired roads; it’s now time to fix their roads.
The Public Works director has identified approximately 150 roads that have yet to be addressed by the previous road bonds; some of which are 40 or more years old and never have been attended to since their construction. While some of these roads remain passable, but barely so, the residents have difficulty in navigating the ruts and bumps and at times find it easier to take a long and time consuming route to avoid the “forgotten roads”.
Why do we need to pass the bond and do the work now? Several reasons. There are a number of the roads that are still in repairable condition and can be rehabilitated; others are beyond recovery and need to be completely rebuilt. The $30 million bond reflects the current condition of the roads; if we delay or the bond is not passed the cost of this effort in the future will increase as additional roads fail and require more costly attention. Material and labor costs will not go down; the cost of asphalt, a petroleum product, is dependent on world conditions, nothing Bedford has any control over.
The ballot article asks us (voters) to “authorize” the town to bond $30 million. The town will then issue three $10 million bonds, one every two years. The DPW is able to do about $5 million of road work each year so each bond will cover approximately two years work. The future Town Councils and Town Finance Department will have the flexibility of taking each of the three bonds for a period of either 10 or 15 years as financial conditions dictate. The present council believes this is the prudent approach and will not affect the town’s bond rating.
Town Council Chairman Chris Bandazian, DPW Director Jim Stanford and I have made a promotional presentation available for viewing on BCTV. Jim presents additional technical information you might find useful when considering the $30 million dollar road bond.
I personally believe this is the right time to give the council and town the authorization to bond and spend the money to finish the road rehabilitation program begun over 10 years ago. It won’t get any cheaper by waiting.
Please vote “yes” and not leave any road behind.