NEW RESIDENT INFORMATION
Welcome to the Town of Bedford! We are glad you've chosen to make Bedford your home and we recognize you have many questions on the services provided by your local government as well as private business services every resident needs to coordinate with when moving to a new community.
Bedford is a vibrant town located in the historic heart of Massachusetts. Our residents have been here from the beginning. We are Native American, from tribes that stopped here to gather reeds in the summer. We came from Europe in the 1600's to develop trading posts, the first of which was the Shawsheen House. We later built mills and farmed. Some of us came here as slaves from the Boston slave trade in the 1670's. Mostly we liked being located between two rivers, the Shawsheen and the Concord, and having several prominent brooks running between these rivers - the Elm, Pine, Beaver & Spring. In the 1800's we became a vacation spot for city dwellers, the best known destination being "Bedford Springs" hotel at Fawn Lake.
We have experienced population shifts from early settlers of English and French descent, to later waves of Irish and Italian immigrants and more recently from Asia and South America. We have also settled here following transfer from another part of the country, due to our large high tech industry and former military families who retire to Bedford from Hanscom Air Force Base.
Today we are people of many ethnicities, ages, social and economic standing. Our total population is 13,765 with the majority being 35 to 44 years old, our median age about 42. A quarter of us are under the age of 18, a little more than a quarter of us are 25 to 44, another quarter are 45 to 64, and about 20% are 65 or older. There are fewer 18 to 24 year olds than any other age.
We are today primarily of European American descent, which accounts for 91.2% of the population, while 5.4% of us are Asian American, 1.8% are Hispanic or Latino American,1.7% are African American, and .2% are Native American.
We have diverse forms of family arrangement, from the Victorian era "modern" family, to singles sharing a home or living alone to multi-generational families. Just under a third of our families are either "modern" family or blended family arrangements. A little more than a third of us have children under the age of 18 and about two-thirds of us are married couples. A fifth of our "families" are made up of individuals and a tenth of us are someone living alone who is 65 or older. Our average household size is 2.60 and our average family size is 3.04.
We live in 5,339 households - single unit homes, condominiums or apartments either rented or owned. Almost a tenth of our households are female-headed and a quarter of our homes have no married or biologically related individuals. Between 2% and 3% of our population lives below the national poverty line; nearly 200 of these individuals being some of society's most vulnerable people - children under 18 and the elderly.
We believe in valuing our heritage while honoring our diversity with acceptance and celebration. Many of us are religious or have a spiritual practice of some type, though the majority may be denominationally unaffiliated. Almost one quarter of the families are affiliated with the Catholic Church, though all Protestant denominations and other spiritualities have a home here.
We have a wide array of town supported activities and community organizations, including church and school programs available to us. We know that our Bedford family is stronger because we have multiple opportunities for connection across generations, socio-economic status, religious ideologies and work, educational and hobby interests. These opportunities for bridging across our differences serve to strengthen us as a community. We like saying "hi" to our neighbors; stopping by the local coffee shop for a chat; taking our children to the playground or Springs Brook Park; participating in intramural sports or in some of the library's many events; and participating in the annual Bedford Day parade or Pole Capping events. We like to strengthen our Bedford family picture and nurture the unique but ever changing community personality that we have come to love so. We want to ensure Bedford's flourishing into the 21'st century.
While the old farms and industries have gone, new businesses have come to Bedford in the past fifty years, which helps to keep our tax rate stable while providing employment opportunities for our residents. Bedford businesses play leadership roles in computer technology, environmental products, and cutting edge robotics.
We have an excellent school system, a strong industrial and commercial tax base and caring and committed town employees. Bedford is a great place in which to live or work, and we welcome you to our community.
The following is the list of information the Town has compiled. Should you not see some service that you need, please contact me at
and we'll do our best to add to the list as needed.
(Data compiled from U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000; League of Women Voters' "Citizen's Guide to Bedford;" Brown's History of Bedford; and staff assistance from the Bedford Public Library and St. Michael's Catholic Church)
The Town of Bedford operates the ambulance service in Bedford and can be reached by calling 911 for emergencies or the Fire Department at (781) 275-7262 for non-emergencies.
Birth, Death, Marriage Licenses and Certificates
Contact the Town Clerk's office at (781) 275-0083 or visit their web page www.bedfordma.gov/town-clerk
Building/Wiring/Plumbing and Gas permits
Apply for these permits at Town Hall, 10 Mudge Way weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or view more information and download forms from www.bedfordma.gov/code-enforcement
Syndicated Cable Television is provided by Verizon (800) 837-4966 or Comcast (877) 536-7260. Local cable access is provided by Bedford TV, located in Old Town Hall on South Road, Bedford or by calling (781) 275-5004 or www.bedford.tv
Child Care Providers
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care provides a list of state-licensed childcare providers in Bedford which can be obtained at the following webpage www.eec.state.ma.us
Dogs are licensed through the Bedford Town Clerk's Office at Bedford Town Hall. They can be reached at (781) 275-0083 or visit their web page www.bedfordma.gov/town-clerk Dog license applications can be obtained by clicking on the Dog License Program on the Town Clerk's Menu.
Drivers License/Vehicle Registration
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is responsible for issuing driver's licenses and registration of motor vehicles. The closest Registry office is in Wilmington, 355 Middlesex Avenue (Route 62). Next closest is Lowell at 77 Middlesex Street. Office hours at both locations are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Thursday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Directions, waiting times, and more information is available at www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv/BranchInfo/Branches.aspx
NStar provides electric service in Bedford. They can be reached at (800) 592-2000.
The Town's Fire Department operates out of the station located at 55 Great Road and can be reached at 911 for emergencies and (781) 275-7262 for non-emergencies or by clicking on the Fire Department link in the Department directory at the Town's homepage www.bedfordma.gov or directly at www.bedfordma.gov/fire
The Town of Bedford regulates garage and yard sales and signage for such sales. Permits are available by contacting the Bedford Code Enforcement Office at (781) 275-7446 or view more information and download forms from www.bedfordma.gov/code-enforcement
The Town of Bedford operates weekly curbside refuse and recycling pick up at no charge for residents. The Town operates a disposal site on Carlisle Road where lawn waste may be taken seasonally at designated hours. More information can be obtained at the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov and by clicking on the Department of Public Works webpage, going directly to www.bedfordma.gov/public-works or by calling them at (781) 275-7605.
Allied Waste (BFI) provides white goods pick up by arrangement at (800) 442-9006.
Coviello Electric handles burned out street lights at (800) 365-1691.
National Grid provides gas service in Bedford. They can be reached at (781) 466-5000.
133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner (ORNAC), Concord (978) 369-1400
Lahey Clinic Medical Center, 41 Mall Road, Burlington (781) 744-5100
Veterans Administration Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford (781) 275-7500
The Town of Bedford has one library, the Bedford Free Public Library located at 7 Mudge Way, diagonally across the street from the Police Station and next to Bedford High School. The library is part of the regional Minuteman Library Network and patrons can check out books from a variety of libraries associated with the network. Library Hours are
Memorial Day to Labor Day September to May
MONDAY - THURSDAY: MONDAY - THURSDAY
9 am - 9 pm 9 am - 9 pm
9 am - 6 pm 9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 5 pm 9 am - 5 pm
CLOSED 12 noon - 5 pm
The library can be contacted at (781) 275-9440 or by clicking on the Library link on the Department directory on the Town's homepage at www.bedfordma.gov or by going directly to www.bedfordlibrary.net
The Town of Bedford is covered by a local newspaper called The Bedford Minuteman. They can be reached at (888) MY-PAPER or at (978) 371-5786 or at www.wickedlocalbedford.com
The Town Manager's office publishes a quarterly publication called The Byline that is mailed free to every resident. For information about the Byline contact (781) 275-1111.
The Town of Bedford's police department is located at the Police Station, 2 Mudge Way, and was recently certified by the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission signifying compliance with modern day law enforcement standards and practices. They can be reached at 911 for emergencies and (781) 275-1212 for non-emergencies or by going to the Police Department webpage link from the Department directory on the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov
The United States Postal Service has one branch in Bedford at 156 Great Road in the Bedford Shopping Center. They can be reached at (781) 275-2083.
Properties are valued for tax purposes by the Board of Assessors who can be reached by calling (781) 275-0046 or view more information on the Assessors' web page www.bedfordma.gov/assessors
The Town of Bedford holds a variety of public meetings throughout the year by the Selectmen, Finance Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Health, Conservation Commission, Community Preservation Committee, Council on Aging and several other boards and committees. The public meeting schedule is posted at the Town Hall, 10 Mudge Way and can be accessed online by clicking on the Calendar link on the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov
The Town's Recreation Department operates the Town Recreation Area at Springs Brook Park and the Summer Recreation Program for youth at the High School. The Recreation Department also coordinates activities on the Town Common, including the Summer Concert Series, Bedford Day, and youth and adult recreation leagues. For more information contact the Recreation Department at (781) 275-1392, visit their web page www.bedfordma.gov/recreation ,or drop by the office located at 12 Mudge Way in the Town Center building, the yellow building directly behind Bedford Town Hall.
The Town of Bedford offers free weekly curbside recycling of paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, and metal. Recyclables must be placed in designated recycling bins available from the Department of Public Works, 314 Great Road. More information can be obtained at the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov and by clicking on the Department of Public Works section, or going directly to www.bedfordma.gov/public-works or by calling them at (781) 275-7605.
Register to Vote
Voter registration is offered at the Town Clerk's office, Town Hall, 10 Mudge Way, Bedford during regular business hours weekdays from 8 AM to 4 PM. Call (781) 275-0083 or visit their web page www.bedfordma.gov/town-clerk. Voting is held at the John Glenn Middle School Gym on McMahon Road.
Restaurants and Lodging
Bedford has many fine restaurants and several lodging facilities. A listing is available by going to the website for the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and looking at the desired category in their directory of services, www.bedfordchamber.org/directory.htm
Bedford has two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, all located within its borders. They can be contacted at the following telephone numbers or by clicking on the Bedford Public Schools link on the Town's website or by going directly to the schools website at www.bedford.k12.ma.us A regional vocational technical school located in the neighboring town of Billerica serves high school age youth in Bedford and neighboring towns.
Bedford Public Schools, Central Administration, 97 McMahon Road (781) 275-7588
Davis Elementary School, 410 Davis Road, Bedford (781) 275-6804 grades K, 1, 2
Job Lane Elementary School, 66 Sweetwater Avenue, Bedford (781) 275-7606 grades 3, 4, 5
John Glenn Middle School, 99 McMahon Road, Bedford (781) 275-3201 grades 6, 7, 8
Bedford High School, 9 Mudge Way, Bedford (781) 275-1700 grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Shawsheen Tech, 100 Cook Street, Billerica, MA 01821 (978) 667-2111
The Bedford Council on Aging is a municipal department that serves the needs of citizens aged 60 and over. Among the many services and programs provided by the Council on Aging are information and referral, outreach, fitness and other health-related programs, educational, recreational and social programs. The Council on Aging office and Senior Center are located at 12 Mudge Way, the yellow building directly behind Bedford Town Hall, and can be reached at (781) 275-6825 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM on weekdays. For more online information and resources please visit the Council on Aging link in the Department directory of the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov
The Town of Bedford provides municipal sewer service to most of the commercial, industrial and suburban residential zones in town and around Middlesex Turnpike and Crosby Drive. The Town's Sewer Department can be reached by calling the Public Works Department at (781) 275-7605.
Snow plowing is provided by the Department of Public Works on town roads. For more information, contact the DPW office at (781) 275-7605 or visit the web page www.bedfordma.gov/public-works
Telephone service can be obtained from several sources, including the following companies:
AT & T (800) 222-3000
Comcast (800) 266-2278
MCI (800) 950-5555
Sprint (800) 877-4646
Verizon (800) 870-9999
Extra Bedford phone books are available while supplies last from the Town Clerk's office at Bedford Town Hall.
The Town Hall is located at 10 Mudge Way and the Selectmen's office can be reached at (781) 275-1111. Town Hall hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Town of Bedford Payments
Motor Vehicles Excise Tax bills are issued once annually. Real Estate Tax bills are issued twice annually. Water/Sewer bills are issued quarterly. For more information contact the Tax Collector's Department at (781) 275-1517. All bills can be paid online from the Town's website by clicking on the online payments link on the homepage.
The outdoor storage of more than one (1) unlicensed or unregistered vehicles or any junk motor vehicle may be authorized by the Zoning board of Appeals (ZBA). There is a penalty for violations. Contact the Code Enforcement office at Town Hall weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or view more information and download forms from www.bedfordma.gov/code-enforcement
Veterans Services operates out of the Bedford Town Center, 12 Mudge Way, the yellow building behind Bedford Town Hall. Contact Veterans Agent at (781) 275-1328 or from the veterans services link in the Youth and Family section of the Town website www.bedfordma.gov/youth
The Town of Bedford provides municipal water service to most of the commercial, industrial and suburban residential zones in town. The Town's Water Department can be reached by calling the Public Works Department at (781) 275-7605.
The Town of Bedford has a local wetlands protection bylaw which extends the limits of the State Wetlands Protection Act. For more information contact the Conservation Commission at (781) 275-6211.
Winter Parking Ban
The Town of Bedford has a winter parking ban on public ways that is in effect from 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM during winter months. It is also prohibited to deposit or plow snow into a public way.
For a more extensive list of town and area resources check out the Town of Bedford Youth and Family Services Community Social Services Resource Guide available from their offices at 12 Mudge Way, Town Center, the yellow building directly behind Bedford Town Hall, or on the Youth and Family home page on the Town's website www.bedfordma.gov or directly at www.bedfordma.gov/youth