Turners Falls sidewalk bump-out balanced with expanded lighting plans

MONTAGUE — The annual block grant application now includes a request for money to pave the way for a streetlight extension and sidewalk trash cans, items selectmen had requested but which were not initially included in the application.

The Board of Selectmen in January signed off on the grant application — which includes plans to replace Avenue A lights, fund home rehabilitation projects and an English literacy program — with all three board members objecting to the fourth element, a sidewalk plaza or bump-out on Avenue A. Objections raised were to the loss of several parking spaces and the cost, about $190,000 in potential grant money.

Town Administrator Frank Abbondanzio said additions to the application include adding trash receptacles and some feasibility work for extending the lights past Fifth Street to Seventh Street, paving the way for that work in the future.

Selectman Michael Nelson said later he was pleased with plans to expand lighting, which he said is important aesthetically and for safety.

“I’m very pleased with that part of it. I’m still concerned with spending the amount of money that we are on the bump-out; it seems like a lot of money to be spending on something that’s lovely but not critical at this point,” Nelson said.

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