FARMINGTON — Changes to the town’s sign ordinance will be considered by voters at a special town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Community Center on Middle Street.

The warrant also includes an article to approve spending $40,000 on the first of five lease-purchase payments for a new front-end loader for the Public Works Department.

An addition to the sign ordinance would cover temporary advertising banners, including the use of “feather” banners, Town Manager Richard Davis said. Feather banners are vertical, free-standing, pole-mounted banners, frequently seen around town, he said.

The ordinance amendments would allow banners not more than 30 square feet to advertise a new product, service or promotion for not more than 30 days per year. The code enforcement officer would approve use of temporary advertising banners, but there would be no fee for the permit.

The sign ordinance would also be amended to ban all signs at four traffic islands, including those at the intersections of Farmington Falls Road and Main Street; Wilton Road and Bridge and Water streets; High Street and Farmington Falls Road; and Temple Road and Oakes and Bridge streets.

The town prohibits the use of election and campaign signs within the islands. To avoid discrimination, it needs to be amended to include all signs, he said.


Voters will also consider spending money for a front-end loader to replace the 1989 Caterpillar loader. The transmission recently failed in the Caterpillar, which has 19,276 hours of running time, which is the equivalent of 700,000 miles. Replacing the transmission at an estimated cost of over $19,000 “cannot be justified,” according to the warrant.

Because the Public Works Department frequently uses a front-end loader, especially in the winter, the Board of Selectmen recommend replacing it through a five-year lease-purchase agreement, where the payments are higher but the interest is lower than if they went with a seven-year lease-purchase plan.

Voters will be asked to use $40,000 from the unassigned fund balance, which totalled $1,810,458 at the end of 2013.

Copies of the warrant and sign ordinance changes are available at the Town Office prior to the meeting Tuesday. They will also be available at the meeting.

The registrar of voters will be at the meeting Oct. 14 to add new names or make changes to the voting list.

The board will hold its regular meeting following the special town meeting.

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