UPDATE: Voting tomorrow, March 13, will be HELD AS SCHEDULED. Town Meeting will be POSTPONED until Thursday, March 15, at 5:30 pm in the Rec. Dept. gymnasium.
At Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m., registered voters will be asked to vote on a number of Warrant Articles, including Article 4 – To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $250,000 for the construction of a new town entrance and sidewalks and associated road improvements.
There are some misconceptions about how the $250,000 will be spent. Simply put, the Town is NOT looking to build a $250,000 welcome sign.
I recently met with Town Manager Mark Decoteau and he explained that of the $250,000 voters are being asked to approve, the majority of the funds – $125,000 – will be spent on road construction, $50,000 for engineering, and $75,000 for the construction of a sign.
The overall purpose of this project is to create a strong “sense of arrival” that welcomes and invites visitors, residents and property owners into our community. It is intended to draw visitors into the village. The sign will be located just uphill from the Valley Rd./Tripoli Rd. intersection on the left side and will be constructed of natural materials and will be lit. This sense of arrival was the highest priority recommendation from the 2015 Pedestrian Study by the SE Group.
The project will also involve creating a 10-foot multi-use pathway, defined by road marking or texture changes, on the same side of the road with no curbing, and installation of crosswalks on Valley Rd. at the Tecumseh Rd. intersection and Jennings Peak Rd. intersection.
If funds remain after the work is completed, the sidewalk on the right side of Valley will be improved as well.
Mark Decoteau noted that this is only the start of creating a more uniform town-wide sign design theme and improvements to the sidewalks and roadways to promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
I’ve heard folks ask, Why spend a quarter of a million dollars on an entrance project when some town roads need work? That’s a legitimate question, and one the Town has considered.
The Town’s Capital Plan includes over $2.1 million over the next 30 years to fund yearly road repairs.
We are going on four years since the Town completed the pedestrian village study. It is time to begin implementing the projects that the report identified as priorities for improvement – and the entrance project is one of those priority improvements.
I hope you see fit to vote YES on Article 4.