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‘Gateways’ projects to move forward in spring

GREENFIELD — The mayor’s Gateways to Greenfield project is still in the works, but results most likely won’t be seen until spring.

For years, town leaders have talked about how Greenfield might welcome visitors to town as they enter from different points, but it was Mayor William Martin who earlier this year took the reins and the first steps with his initiative.

“This is a cooperative effort,” said Martin. “We’ve been seeking and receiving input from different individuals and groups, including the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Greenfield Business Association, Greening Greenfield, civic groups and a committee that is working on what might go at each entryway.

The sites being considered include the former Food and Fuel site on Deerfield Street, which Martin said will be the first to be worked on.

Other sites include Interstate 91 at the “Welcome to Greenfield” billboard, French King Highway, Route 2 at the beginning of the Mohawk Trail and the triangle at the Greenfield-Deerfield bridge off Routes 5 and 10.

Martin said the project is intended to be a key element in the ongoing effort to beautify the community and make public spaces more attractive to residents, visitors and people thinking of relocating to Greenfield.

The mayor said the town will eventually hold a sculpture contest and will install winners’ sculptures at different gateways.

Martin said another plan is to erect solar-powered signs at each spot. The electronic billboards would inform people of upcoming events, weather, and news, as well as provide public service and emergency announcements.

Each site will also be landscaped and feature gardens.

The town plans to hold “visioning sessions” before any work begins at any of the sites, said Martin.

He said the town is still looking for grants to fund the project. He said some of the costs might come from parking revenues.

Plans will be phased in over the next few years, said Martin, who added the town will work with Conway School of Landscape Design on the designs, at the same time it works with its Public Works Department on downtown beautification.

“We’re looking at a lot of different options,” said Martin. “I see the project really taking off in the spring.”

You can reach Anita Fritz at:
afritz@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 280

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