FARMINGTON – Selectmen voted 3-2 Monday to accept a downtown tree planting grant and a revised plan to plant trees in sidewalk swells with granite curbing.

The town’s Conservation Commission received a $6,000 Maine Department of Transportation Community Gateway Award grant to plant trees to beautify the downtown area. The town would match the remainder of the $11,920 project with in-kind services and volunteer labor.

Initially, 13 trees were to be planted in sidewalks on lower Broadway and both sides of Main Street. Then the plan was revised to 11 trees planted in striped no-parking sections.

On Monday, the proposed plan was revised to eight trees planted in the streets surrounded by sloped granite curbing and plantings of day lilies and annuals.

Two trees would be planted in swells in front of Liquid Sunshine, one in the striped sections near the corner of Main Street and the other at the corner of lower Broadway. Two trees would be planted near Kyes Insurance building, one on lower Broadway near the intersection of Main and the other around the corner on Main Street. There would also be a swell erected in front of Don’s AG on Main Street.

On the opposite side of Main Street swells would be built in front of Peoples Heritage Bank and another in front of K & J Sports. The last tree would be planted at the corner of Broadway in front of Peoples Heritage Bank.

Town Manager Richard Davis said the town’s Public Works Department supervisor, Mitch Boulette, was in favor of the plan because it would not obstruct sidewalk plowing

Selectmen Chairwoman Mary Wright said she couldn’t “believe” that the new plan wouldn’t interfere with some plowing. She said she was also concerned the tree swells would make parking access a little more difficult. She also noted concerns about a tree being planted near a hydrant.

Wright said if people were so interested in greenery in downtown, they would have already had some plantings.

“I think you’re asking for trouble,” she said. She said the trees would cost about $1,100, or about $140 each, and the rest of the money would go toward building the curbing to plant the trees.

Resident Lloyd Smith said he thought it was a “bad idea” to plant trees in the middle of town for vision purposes. Resident Emily Floyd said she favored planters on the sidewalks that could be moved and stored for winter.

Davis said the trees would be appropriate for the downtown.

Selectman Charles Murray disagreed with Wright and said the trees would beautify the area.

Selectman Mark Cayer said he visited some towns with tree plantings downtown and thought they worked well.

Wright and Selectmen Stephan Bunker voted against the new plan. Bunker said he was not opposed to greenery but favored planting the trees in the sidewalks or in planters.

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