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Fort Kent is relocating inconvenient streetlights

FORT KENT, Maine — The town of Fort Kent, with the assistance of federal grant monies and the efforts of a local contractor, is relocating some inconveniently placed streetlights in the town.

The town has enlisted JBBC Inc. to move some downtown streetlights to allow easier access to sidewalks for people who have disabilities, and to improve access to the sidewalks for public works crews.

Funding for the project comes from a 2018 Downtown Revitalization Grant. Fort Kent Director of Planning and Economic Development Steve Pelletier wrote the grant application.

“For some reason when the original town streetlights were installed, some of them were placed right in the middle of the sidewalk. Obviously, this made it difficult for snow removal as the tractor has to go around each light. This takes time and there is a chance of hitting the light base and damaging the light base or the tractor plow,”

Pelletier said.

The streetlights originally were placed around town in 1991.

“Some lights had been relocated over the years and there was still 16 remaining on West Main Street that (Fort Kent public works director) Tony Theriault identified for relocation,” Pelletier said. “These lights include one in front of Dead River, and 15 on both sides of the street from Subway to S.W. Collins. The four closest to S.W. Collins will remain for now as they will be relocated when the Maine Department of Transportation replaces the traffic light in 2020. The three in front of Valley Motors will not be moved as they would be positioned directly over the town’s water and waste water lines. There, an asphalt bump out will be added to the rear of the light so that the tractor can safely go around and it will then be ADA compliant.”

The project is expected to be completed by next week.

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