Wednesday, October 26, 2005

School Costs

First just a couple of notes, there are now five more lots being developed at Freedom Estates. Three have been completed and are for sale (one already sold), three are just foundations and two are being framed. The pavement at Depot Park has been put down, it happened the next two days after I made my last post. The last step for that project is the crossing lights but that is not expected to star for a couple of weeks.

In the Bedford Minuteman this week there was an article on the High School renovation, “School renovation costs soar $8M”. The projected cost of the school is now $49.1 million! I am torn by this news; it is a lot of money that we the Town will have to pony up for this project and the amount seems to continue to escalate. Saying this I am one of the tax payers that will benefit for the project having two boys in the school system and in 8 years they will be enjoys that new facility.

Here is my problem, when it comes to the school system it seems that they have no conception that there are limited resources. They habitually submit a budget to Town Meeting that has exploded compared to the previous year. Secondly, they never seem to be able to say within the budget constraints decided upon. If the reason for the increase (as stated in the article) is purely the cost of supplies have gone up then that is of no fault of the school system but we should act on the plans and start construction. Regardless, we need updates to the facility; I just hate to see the waste.

One last comment about the school project, we can only hope that the school committee is right in that they are giving a low ball percentage of what the State will reimburse. The town would make a dramatic move from being financially sound to dire straits if Mass decides to lower the amount dramatically.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Back into the Swing

I know I posted recently that I was going to be getting back into the swing of things (mainly posting on what is going on in our Town of Bedford) and a week goes by and nothing. Well, as I posted before I went through a Cartilage replacement and ACL reconstruct on my left knee last month. I did write about that on my Knee blog, you’re welcome to read about. Other than that I have been either out of work stranded at home, then relaying on rides to work and not until just recently, Wednesday, I was able to drive my standard (the clutch being the reason I could not dive) car to work.

Now that I am able to get around a bit I want to make the time to drive around town and take a few photos of some of the changes. Of the places I have been recently (driving to PT) I have noticed that it looks like they are gutting the old Raytheon building; it looks like a scrap metal site in front of it right now. Three or four new houses have popped up at Freedom Estates. Most of the sidewalk seems to be completed and the road is being prepped for the final coat of pavement at the Depot Park. I’m also interested in taking a ride to Avalon Bay, I hear the first residents are now in there, and also take a look at 447 Concord Road, Bedford’s publicly owned low income housing.

On a personal note, I am still on crutches so despite the fact I can drive I am still not getting around that entire well. I am also going to test out my stamina by taking the boys (hopefully) to the football game tonight.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

SuperBowl Ring

I know this is probably not interesting to most but I had to post this picture. I had the opportunity to see and wear last year’s Patriots SuperBowl ring. Long and uninteresting story how I was able so I will not bore you with it. Enjoy the picture, I know I sure did!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Big Change

I was lying on my couch the other day and witnessed a big change in Bedford. Raytheon has been a good neighbor and employer in Bedford for many years. This afternoon I witnessed workers removing their sign across from my house making way for the incoming development on their site.

I want to also mention that I’m sorry for neglecting this site as of late. I have been busy rehabbing my knee and writing about that process. I hope to get back into the swing of the going ons in Bedford very soon.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Insurance Issues

I posted a while back about how my wife was involved in an auto accident. Well, now I have issues with that person’s auto issuance paying for the auto rental. We were without our van for 30 days while it was at the shop. During those 30 days my wife used a rental to shuttle the boys around. I would have guessed that his auto insurance would be responsible while I was without the van, I was wrong! I’m not going to mention the person who got into the accident with my wife because it is not his fault that the auto insurance he subscribes to sucks but I have no qualms mentioning his auto insurance!

Last week I got my credit card bill and to my chagrin there was a charge for the auto rental. I called the Avis shop and the manager there volunteered to call the insurance company. I got a call back saying I needed to fax the estimate of damages to the insurance company and that it should be taken care of. I did this and didn’t hear back from the insurance company.

I called the insurance a couple days later to follow up and was informed they also need any supplemental estimates made on the van. Again I faxed these along to them and again I didn’t hear back from them. I called the next day and was informed that they would only cover 20 of those 30 days I was without the van. I proceeded to call my insurance company to get guidance as to what I should do. I was informed from my insurance company that most reputable companies not only take into account how long the estimates on the vehicle repair should take but also weekends, holidays, all supplemental estimates, and any backorders that may have occurred but the letter of the law says they are only responsible for supplying a replacement vehicle for as many days as the estimate states.

I called my auto body to get any additional information as to why the repair took as long as it did and with this new gathered information I called back his auto insurance. After getting nowhere with the claim adjuster I asked to speak to his manager. That also didn’t go over very well, she bluntly told me “Since I didn’t purchase the rental rider on my policy I am subject to the whims of another insurer’s policy and we will only cover 20 days”. Now I was under the impression that the rental rider was to cover my rental costs if I was at fault at the accident and my car was un-drivable or my car broke down. Since I have AAA I didn’t think it necessary, how foolish of me. I am now forced to go after the individual driver, attached is the letter:

Dear Older Gentleman

I am writing in regards to the auto accident that occurred between you and my wife Susan Bentley92 on June 27, 2005. I have been in the process of trying to recover the costs associated with the accident from your insurance company. To this point they have been very unresponsive. There is still an outstanding balance of almost $400 I had to pay without reimbursement.

Because the accident was deemed your fault and the fact your insurance company has been unwilling to pay the amount to cover repairs and auto replacement I have been forced to request payment from you. I have included a copy of the receipts to the auto body as well as the auto rental. The total cost that I had to pay comes to $397.39. I would appreciate it if you could remit this amount to me as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about this you can contact your insurance company, Hanover Insurance., at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Mr. Dan Foley is handling the incident and the claim number is #XX-XXXXXX. If you would like to talk to me directly I can be contacted at XXX-XXX-XXXX.


Now I must say that I feel awful to have to do this. First, the Gentlemen is 87 years old and I have no idea what his financial position is and these charges could put a large strain on him. Second, this is a huge waste of my time to have to do any of this. Third, this should have all been covered by the insurance!

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What to Look for and some updates

Just when you think you can see most of the new (LARGE) construction you need to take a peek over the horizon. There are a few projects, albeit in the future, that are now starting to be talked about or as the developers like to call it a “conceptual plan”

Irene Road Subdivision: There is a 7 acre lot owned by Carroll and Marion Bryan that they are looking to develop. They have employed K&M Land consultants to make a Preliminary Subdivision plan. What they initially are looking to do is build a 6 lot cluster development.

98-100 Concord Road: This is a plot of land owned by Daniel Coyne that backs up to the land of the Middle School. He is looking for guidance as to whether he should build a Planned Residential Development (PDR) or a Subdivision.

Bedford Motel Redevelopment: The Bedford Motel and other businesses in that area are considering making some redesigns. Many of the business owners are still in a wait and see mode. The town has been working on a zoning overlay bylaw for that area. There may be some big changes for that area in the future. I was at Bedford Farms with the family this weekend; I hope these changes don’t affect my ice cream!

Now for some updates: Freedom Estates have had the rest of their lots released. This means is that they can now sell them to individuals or builders. I was down there this past weekend walking around. It looks to me that they are building some nice houses with lots of close neighbors. There is the one main street, Liberty, and two cul-de-sacs, Prescott and Meeting House. The town has also started working on the plot of and behind the development. It looks like there will be two very nice soccer fields ready soon. As an aside, while there I met the first home buyers. They seem very friendly and well informed about Bedford. They also had four children; I wonder how all of these houses are going to affect the school system.

The Bedford Depot work continues (slowly). The sidewalks seem to be about half done and I can only assume that they will start with the traffic lights once those are finished. I’ll have to try to get some pictures of how it looks now so we can compare later. That is all for now.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Building Drama Conclusion

Depressed, Disappointed and Disgraced
The conclusion, as reported in the Minute Man, the Zoning Board of Appeals upheld Mr. Laskey’s, the Code Enforcement Director, ruling to issue Blue Ribbon Dairy a building permit. After two posts (here & here) the conclusion ends very anti-climatic.

I am depressed that the Zoning Board of Appeals agreed with Mr. Laskey. First, it would have been nice if the Town could maintain new structures so that they fit into the future planning as described in the Comprehensive Plan. Second, I think this sets a bad precedence if the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board disagree on issues. One thing it does point out is that the Comprehensive Plan needs to be incorporated into our zoning by-lays.

I was disappointed that Planning Director Richard Jolly could not attend the meeting. I know no one can predict when you are going to come down with a cold but I can only think he would have been better prepared for the meeting. It is also disappointing that Mr. Fagan could not have done a better job composing his argument (as pointed out in the comments on the last post).

Lastly, Planning Board Chairman Arthur Smith should be disgraced with his actions. I understand that he disagreed (and voted against) with going to the Zoning Board of Appeals to overturn Mr. Laskey’s decision. Regardless of that, once the Planning Board resolved and voted to bring the issue to the Zoning Board of Appeals he should support that stance or at very least not contradict their position. The sad thing is that he holds the position of Chairman and as such all that his actions accomplished (other than solidify the ruling passed by the ZBA) is undermine anything else the Planning Board wants to maintain within the town. In my opinion he did the Planning Board and the Town of Bedford a great disservice.

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