BEDFORD, NH – The Town of Bedford on Monday announced the purchase of land at 300 South River Road in Bedford as the first step in providing a long-term solution for the facility needs of its police and fire departments.
On May 15, 2023, the Town of Bedford purchased approximately 12 acres of land from the Paul H. MacEwen, Sr. Revocable Trust and the Vivien F. MacEwen Revocable Trust located on the west side of South River Road and the south side of Cedarwood Drive, adjacent to the Consignment Gallery.
The Trusts had previously been marketing the land for private development. The $2.445 million purchase was funded from the Town’s facilities capital reserve fund established for this purpose, meaning there is no additional impact on Town taxpayers.
The cost of the purchase was offset in part by the sale of 4 Sunset Lane by the Town in 2022 for $1.5 million; $45,000 of the cost was returned to the Town as a contribution to the Conservation Fund, which is used for preservation of open space in Bedford.
The land includes the former A.P. Horne Nursery and the MacEwen home, along with many outbuildings, which will be removed to make way for the proposed police station and fire substation, both of which have been identified as necessary for the safety of the community, the ability to provide necessary services, and to provide quality environments that support the vital work of our employees.
The site was selected by the Town Council after a multiyear review of dozens of sites and provides the Fire Department a station in an area of the Town that drives a significant level of emergency calls due to the high-density housing, assisted living complexes, and commercial development in the area.
“I am excited that the Town has been able to take this vital first step in solving our emergency response needs that will help ensure the safety and value of Bedford for decades to come,” said William Carter, Chair of the Bedford Town Council.
In 2023, the Town Council formed a Facilities Information and Communication Committee made up of residents of Bedford who, along with Councilors and staff, will be sharing the proposed plans and costs for the new safety complex construction with the public in the coming weeks as they are developed. It is anticipated that a bond for construction-related costs will be presented to the voters in March of 2024.
Rick Sawyer, Bedford Town Manager stated, “I want to thank the Council for working diligently over the years to address our emergency response needs and the voters of Bedford who have funded our critical capital reserve needs, which have made this purchase possible. Completing this project as soon as possible is vital to the future of our community.”
Residents should stay tuned for more information on the project, which will be provided on the Town website, in press releases, pamphlets, on social media, BCTV, and in public presentations soon.