Sidewalk & parking improvements in West Farmington approved

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The VIS park in West Farmington.
The VIS park in West Farmington. Bridge Street is to the left, Oakes Street is straight ahead.

FARMINGTON – Selectmen approved the construction of parking and sidewalks upgrades to the center of West Farmington.

The project is estimated to cost $79,170 and will be paid for through the Farmington Downtown TIF (tax increment financing) fund account. The fund is expected to total from between $100,000 to $120,000 after the town’s tax commitment is set by selectmen in August.

TIF funds can be used for infrastructure upgrades within the designated district.

The upgrades of new sidewalks with granite curbing, additional parking and new street lighting around the triangular-shaped village park were recommended by the Downtown TIF Advisory Committee. Bids for the project will go out soon.

In another matter, selectmen were informed that voters will be asked at the annual town meeting to dedicate and accept Willow Springs Road as a town-owned and maintained road.

Currently, the privately-owned, 450-foot-long road, at the intersection at Fairbanks Road or Routes 4&27, leads into the Willow Springs housing development parking lot. The development which opened a few years ago provides housing for low to moderate income seniors and people with disabilities.

The road was built to town specifications with the idea of turning it over to the town as a public easement, said Town Manager Richard Davis. The housing developers, William Marceau and Byron Davis of Farmington Land LLC, may argue that the project provides substantial property tax revenue and is in the community’s interest to have affordable housing for lower income residents available, Davis added.

Selectman Matthew Smith said if the town were to take over maintaining the road he asked that kind of precedence would it set and how many more residents would want their road also maintained by the town.

Selectman Joshua Bell said the road “just goes into one place; it’s their driveway.”

Davis said he was against it. “Personally, I don’t like it. We have enough to take care of now.”

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