FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen approved spending $2,500 Tuesday on a plan for a West Farmington parking project.

The funds will be taken from the Downtown Tax Increment Financing District, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

The proposed project, endorsed by the TIF committee, would create additional parking around VIS Memorial Park. On the opposite side of Oakes Street, a sidewalk from Whistle Stop Trail to the intersection of Oakes Street and Route 43 would be designed, along with crosswalks to a convenience store at the intersection. 

Dirigo Engineering will develop plans for new parallel parking spaces, four on Oakes Street and four on Bridge Street, along with conduit stubs and pole bases for future lighting.

The parking spots may cut into a portion of the park, Davis said.

The plans will be in place for when the town is ready to do the project, he said. The town’s Public Works crew could do most of the work, except for paving. 

Board members agreed the parking spaces would provide definite boundaries for the park and provide extra spaces and lighting for activities that take place at the Grange Hall.

In other business, the board reviewed a proposed solar energy addition for the town’s zoning ordinance performance standards.

The addition is needed to help the town regulate and permit residential, commercial and industrial solar energy systems, preserve and protect public health and consider the development of land.

Private systems may cover up to 2,000 square feet with a capacity for up to 20 kilowatts, Davis said. Solar modules flush mounted to a roof or building would not need review under the standards.

A commercial system can be up to 20,000 square feet, or less than a half-acre, and produce up to 250 kilowatts.

Selectman Stephan Bunker suggested the fire chief be consulted to establish provisions for private roof-mounted systems, including an emergency shut-off. 

He also questioned whether the permitting should require a sliding fee based on the size of the system.

A special town meeting will take place during a board meeting on Nov. 22 at the Community Center for voters to consider adoption of the addition. Copies are available at the Town Office.

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