To the Editor:
On November 6, 2012, the residents of Bedford will have an opportunity to vote on a local law which reduces the Town’s Open Space and Clean Water dedicated tax to 1% of the General and Highway levy. A positive vote would affirm that the open space tax, (formerly 3%) would be reinstated in 2013 at 1% for the next five years.
The Town Board felt it was important for the citizens of Bedford to reaffirm their commitment to financing open space and water protection albeit at a much lower level.
This Fund has helped to finance the acquisition of over 71 acres of open space, often leveraging other private and not for profit funding to augment its purchasing power.
Through the Town’s Open Space Committee which advises the Town Board on potential acquisitions, including the potential benefits of each, we have had the rare opportunity to acquire parcels contiguous to two of our Town parks and expand the green belt around the third. We have been able to provide protection for our precious water resources including both reservoir and groundwater from which most of our residents access their drinking water. Our Town is greener, cleaner and more beautiful because we have had the means to acquire these parcels.
The Town Board recognizes that this is a difficult financial time for many of our residents and we too feel the same fiscal pressures in our own lives and with our municipal budget. However, this is not the time to give up on our vision for Bedford. The beautiful vistas, trees, reservoirs and wildlife all contribute to the quality of life that we share. For the average household this tax amounts to $20 per year, a very small price to pay for such a large community benefit.
We hope you will join us in voting to approve the Clean Water and Open Space 1% tax on November 6th. It is important that we continue to preserve Bedford’s precious natural resources for generations to come.
Lee V.A. Roberts Francis Corcoran Chris Burdick
Peter Chryssos David Gabrielson
Tax Cap Threatens Town's Open-Space Acquisitions
Bedford Cuts Funding for Open-Space Buys
POLL: Will You Support an Open Space Tax in November?