On Monday night (April 13, 2020) the Bedford School Board voted 3-2 to allow the developers of Bow Lane LLC to hook their 93-unit apartment complex into the school’s water and sewer system.
Dissenting votes were from Chairman Jay Nash and member John Schneller. New member Sue Jennato went along to approve with Cindy Chagnon (whose term is up in 2021 when she will not run again) and Bill Foote, who was recently re-elected at the 2020 Town Meeting.
Had this “deal” not been approved, the developers would have had to pay for their own way of hooking up as the only other alternative. The Village Shoppes had already rejected a proposal to hook up into their new $700K system.
Nash, in his blog post, stated very clearly that “The organizational purpose of the school board is to oversee education. The school board is not responsible for approving commercial developments, or zoning ordinances, or the granting of town variances. Many parties have attempted to use this body and these meetings to exert influence on other elected or appointed officials in town. In fact some used this board to promote a project, and some still try to use the school board to derail approved projects.”
The Union Leader quoted Chairman Nash: Jay Nash, chairman of the school board, said that since the final condition could not be met, Anagnost Companies haven’t delivered what they said they were going to deliver.”
“We are being asked to approve a deal that is a few bricks short of a load,” Nash told his colleagues, claiming the intent was to improve the roadway so that buses and emergency vehicles could use it as a second means of leaving the school.
The paper also reported that “Anagnost, manager of Bow Lane Bedford, LLC., wrote in a previous letter to the superintendent that it is not possible, feasible or advisable to straighten Chestnut Drive from its origin at the intersection of Route 101 due to safety concerns arising from the curvature and elevation of the existing conditions.”.
This was one of the most important conditions that many feared would never be met. Apparently, it was always considered unfeasible.
Despite being told that these apartments would not be using one cent of taxpayer dollars, we have since learned that millions in subsidies and loans will be afforded the project via state agencies and a possible 10-year tax deferment could be granted.
This is a perfect example of how important it is to get the proper people elected to the school board. Unfortunately, Jennato and Foote went unopposed.