FARMINGTON – Residents voted unanimously Tuesday night to authorize selectmen to use up to $250,000 from the undesignated fund balance to pay for the replacement of a downtown drain pipe.

The vote was held at a special town meeting attended by about two dozen people.

Town officials discovered 1,500 feet of a drainpipe had deteriorated, creating two sinkholes on Lower Broadway after a heavy rainstorm in mid-July.

Video from a camera put into one of the sinkholes showed that the 30-inch diameter aluminum pipe had corroded. Because of a danger that other sinkholes might open up under pressure from passing cars, the middle section of both upper and lower Broadway was closed to traffic days after the inspection.

The warrant asked taxpayers to allow the appropriation of up to $250,000 from the undesignated fund balance so the town can replace 1,500 feet of pipe, install backfill, and repave the road. The fund balance stands at nearly $1,660,000, according to the town warrant.

After a brief discussion about, among other things, whether the new pipe would hold up for longer than the old one and whether $250,000 will be enough to cover the cost, residents voted unanimously to appropriate the funds.

In a third warrant article, residents voted unanimously to amend the town’s streets and sidewalks ordinance. From now on, house numbers must be at least 4 inches high and in a contrasting color to the residence. Either the number or the background must also be reflected.

The amendment also requires numbers on houses less than 50 feet from the edge of the road to be installed in a visible place on the home, and numbers for houses more than 50 feet away to be fixed to both the house and a structure (post, wall, fence) near the road.

At a previous selectmen’s meeting, the board explained the changes are meant to help firefighters, police, and emergency personnel locate residences they have been called to.

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