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Making way for Western Avenue walkers

Business sign must move for Route 20 sidewalk, several acquisitions along roadway

— The public hearing would also address adding these spaces. The town’s facility, an old water department building located between the commercial storefronts, is only used to house town records.

“It was DOT’s suggestion that we try and pick up some of the spaces that are lost,” Runion said.

Donald Reeb, president of the McKownville Improvement Association, said the sign is “very much oversized” and was concerned about the town offering up public land.

“Any number of people in the town and town government have expressed a concern about the number of signs along Western Avenue. It does get cluttered,” Reeb said. “There is concern about having town land granted to private (owners).”

Runion also suggested the town push for the sign to better comply with the current zoning laws.

“We may want to look at trying to bring that sign more in compliance to what the current zoning requirements are,” Runion said.

Reeves said there is “no way” to make the sign compliant, so if he was forced to better comply with town laws, he would have to purchase a whole new sign.

“The sign could be replaced at considerable cost or essentially used at its current size and configuration,” Reeves said. “Obviously for us, being that it’s been there for around 30 plus years, that would be preferred.”

The sign was grandfathered in after new regulations were adopted.

Over the years, Reeves has made repairs to the sign totaling around $1,800 and installing new sign panels for another $2,500. He said estimates on replacing the sign came in around $5,500.

Reeves is just one of the more than 150 property owners along Western Avenue that will be impacted by the project in some way.

Bryan Viggiani, spokesman for DOT Region 1, outlined the total number of properties the state was seeking to purchase, acquire a temporary easement, or be granted a release across both phases of construction.

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