FARMINGTON — A plan to transform a town-owned lot near the entrance to town into a small landscaped park is moving forward, after selectmen reviewed an initial sketch of the project Tuesday.
Farmington resident Richard Bjorn, a longtime community benefactor, has offered to pay to landscape the property at the corner of High Street and Farmington Falls Road.
Residents previously voted against selling the lot, the former site of the town garage, and the town manager said Farmington resident Nancy Porter has dropped an offer to hold a community flea market over the summer on the lot.
Officials value the land at $53,000.
The initial sketch, by Robert Zundel, of Treeline Landscape, shows a walking path surrounded by a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees leading from a parking lot, and looping in a circle in the center of the property. The parking area connects to High Street, with the a row of bushes bordering the parking spaces.
Davis said that depending on the specifics of Bjorn’s donation, the park could have additional features such as lights or benches.
He also said town officials eventually would need to name the park.
Anyone with ideas or questions about the project can share their input with selectmen or with Town Manager Richard Davis at 778-6538.
Davis said he reviewed the initial sketch Wednesday morning with Bjorn and will be moving forward with the project to get price estimates.
“He’s very excited about the project and getting started,” Davis said.
Bjorn, president of Kyes Insurance Agency, has a history of making donations to the town, such as partly funding the new Farmington Police Station garage and buying new seating for the Farmington Recreation Center.
“He has been very generous on a number of occasions, and we are very thankful,” Davis said.
Public works employees are expected to begin preliminary work for the project soon, and will remove dead trees and a shed that remains on the lot from when it was the town garage.
Some selectmen raised concerns Tuesday night about the ongoing maintenance costs associated with a new park, and whether another project would overtax the public works or parks and recreation department.
Earlier in the meeting, selectmen approved a request from the Farmington Downtown Association to have the public works crew water hanging baskets bought by the association for placement downtown, but not before questioning whether they should spend an estimated $1,400 in labor and material.
Selectman Andrew Buckland said the board should research any ongoing costs that would be associated with the lot and determine where the money will come from.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 | firstname.lastname@example.org