April 13 2017
Town Meeting to Vote on $1 Million Transfer for Sidewalk Repairs
By: Rich Hosford
Town Meeting will be asked to consider a large transfer of funds for sidewalk repair during the May session.
On Monday the Board of Selectmen voted to approve the inclusion of a warrant article that would “see if the Town will vote to transfer the sum of $1,000,000 from Free Cash to repair, repave or reconstruct existing sidewalks, to include Bedford Street in conjunction with the road repaving project to be the spent under the direction of the Town Administrator, or to do or act in any other manner in relation thereto.”
Sidewalk repair and construction has been a topic of interest for Town Meeting the past couple of years. In May of 2016 the legislative body approved $250,000 to upgrade the sidewalks for the stretch of Bedford Street from Cambridge Street to Terrace Hall Avenue from bituminous curbing with asphalt to granite curbing with concrete. The year prior it had upped the amount designated for sidewalk repair from $50,000 to $100,000.
Selectman Bob Hogan, who has been part of a sidewalk policy subcommittee, said there had been numerous meetings on this new warrant article. He said the loose plan is to use the funds over the next three years in conjunction with the Department of Public Work’s road paving schedule. Work on Bedford Street is set to continue in the spring.
Selectman Mike Runyan, who has argued against spending too much on sidewalks, said he believes this is an expense the town can handle at this time.
“We had discussions with [Town Administrator John] Petrin and [Town Accountant Paul] Sagarino and we feel comfortable with our position to set aside that amount this year,” he said. “There are other items in the budget that need to be addressed but the message from Town Meeting was clear that they wanted to see some funds set aside for sidewalks.”
The board voted 4-0-0 to have the article placed in the May, 2017 Town Meeting warrant and to recommend its passage.