A 'sign' of things to come

"There are hundreds of signs that are out of compliance in one way or another," said Michael Burns of the Economic Development and Planning Department. "We have never gone and calculated the actual number out there, but we suspect there is quite a few."

The application period will start March 1 and end April 29, and while no businesses had contacted the town as of the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 22, since the program was announced, Town Planner Kevin Corcoran said he expects to hear from some soon.

"I expect by the end of the week we will at least be getting calls and questions," said Corcoran. "We really don't have an idea of what kind of demand is out there, but we will find out shortly, so it is kind of exciting actually."

There are around 1,400 businesses in the town, said Corcoran, which includes home-based business. The two busiest roads also see a decent amount of traffic with the lower portion of Freeman's Bridge Road having around 22,000 cars a day and Route 50 through the center of the town carrying 20,000 cars a day.

In future years, the town might consider continuing the sign grant program if the demand is high enough, said Corcoran, or the town might look into other avenues to stimulate the business community, such as matching funds for sidewalk improvement and tree planting.

"I think it is important to understand this is an investment into our commercial corridors," said Koetzle. "It is showing business partners we want to invest in them and help them grow in the town.""

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