Selectmen to discuss parking changes

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FARMINGTON – A public hearing will be held 6:30 Tuesday night to discuss changes to the town’s traffic ordinance that include increased fines to keep pace with state law, along with parking limits and prohibiting parking on Middle Street so buses can maneuver in and out of the UMF/Mallett School parking lot.

The public can have their say with the proposed changes that include increasing fines from $5 to $10 if a parking time limit is exceeded. Parking limits are two hours for most spaces in downtown and three hours in the municipal lot between Main and High Streets. Parking violations such as parking next to a hydrant or parking in a prohibited area will jump from $10 to $20. Parking in a handicap space without the proper identification card hung on the dashboard mirror and/or a special designation on the license plate will mean a fine of $200. Farmington’s traffic ordinance is currently set at $100, but the state has jumped the penalty fine to $200.

In other parking matters, a two-hour limit is proposed for the seven parking spaces at the Main Street end of Church Street. After the street’s renovation was completed, which included parallel parking on both sides of the one-way street, the need to reserve a few parking spaces with a greater turnover rate for shoppers or visitors to businesses, such as the Church Street Commons offices, was seen as needed by the town’s Parking Committee, said Town Manager Richard Davis. Amendment to the traffic ordinance would also prohibit overnight parking in the seven spaces. Unlimited parking would remain at the other end of Church Street towards High Street, where a few apartment houses are located, if selectmen approve the change.

Another proposal is to eliminate a few parking spaces on the north side of Middle Street from the corner of High Street to the UMF/Mallett School parking lot so buses can make the turn out of the lot easier.

In other matters, MSAD 9 director Francis Orcutt has resigned his longtime post and selectmen will discuss the process in finding a replacement. Also, the idea of moving town meeting from the traditional second Monday night in March to a Saturday will be explored, along with putting the article pertaining to LD1, which limits spending, near the beginning of the warrant instead of at the end.

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