Farmington will push forward with plans for improvements to Front Street and West Farmington, but a new Sandy River multi-use bridge doesn’t appear to be in the town’s immediate future.

The streetscaping projects are targeted to improve Front Street and the center of West Farmington, where Town Farm Road, Bridge Street, Oakes Street and Temple Road intersect.

Town Manager Richard Davis said the Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday night to send out requests for proposals for the sidewalk and streetlight work.

After the town gets bids back on the projects, Davis said, the selectmen can look the proposals over, look at the availability of TIF funds and decide what the town will be able to pursue.

On Front Street, the project calls for sidewalks and granite curbing from the Franklin Savings Bank building to the intersection with Main Street. It also calls for street lighting from Narrow Gauge Lane intersection to Main Street.

In West Farmington, the project calls for sidewalks with granite curbing and street lighting from the four-way stop in the center of West Farmington north to the intersection of Town Farm Road and Marvel Street, east to the intersection with Bridge Street and Water Street, south to the intersection with Oakes Street and Wilton Road, and west to the intersection of Temple Road and School Street.

The proposal calls for improving the rail trail entrance by C.N. Brown, making it “more attractive and functional,” such as by installing a small off-street parking area. There also would be diagonal parking spaces on Bridge Street and parallel spaces on Oakes Street along the park.

Finally, the committee recommended adding a trailway to the Center Bridge for pedestrians.

Davis said the changes were recommended by the Downtown Tax Increment Financing Committee, which explored capital improvement projects that could be funded using revenue collected from the town’s new tax increment financing district.

The district covers a large swath of downtown and West Farmington. As property in the district improves, the town is allowed to capture that additional property tax value into a fund earmarked for economic development projects like the ones proposed.

Previously, town officials had weighed whether the new TIF district would mean they could finally build a Sandy River bridge for foot traffic and recreational vehicles. A group of supporters raised about $60,000 in grants and donations about eight years ago, but after receiving an engineering study and cost estimate, they learned it could cost more than $1.6 million, and the project lost momentum.

Davis said the committee decided at that point the project goal was “pretty much unreachable” because of the high cost compared with how much TIF money is available.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.