By John Toole
---- — WINDHAM — The town is getting ready to put a stop sign in front of state plans to remove a traffic light from busy Route 111.
The Planning Board last week unanimously recommended selectmen ask state officials to keep the light at the intersection of Routes 111 and 111A.
Businesses around the intersection want to keep the light and already have the support of the town Economic Development Committee.
Selectmen meet with state Department of Transportation Officials next week to discuss the issue.
Selectmen’s Chairman Phil LoChiatto said earlier this month that while selectmen haven’t formally taken a position, the general consensus also is to retain the light.
DOT plans call for removing the light as Route 111A is realigned closer to the Interstate 93 interchange.
Planning Board alternate member Alan Carpenter last week won backing from the board to keep the light.
“The potential impact to the existing businesses is too much of a risk,” Carpenter said.
The board also is interested in exploring some other options in connection with the issue.
Selectman Al Letizio Jr. has proposed putting a roundabout at the intersection.
Carpenter, meanwhile, has suggested the state take a look at other options for the Route 111A realignment and a service road on the old Applewood golf course property to manage traffic.
Letizio said it’s not too late, even as DOT prepares to move forward with the Route 111A realignment.
“The fact is, this is our community,” Letizio said.
Karl Dubay, president of The Dubay Group Inc., commended planners for thinking outside the box, advocating for retaining the light and looking at other options.
“That’s great planning,” Dubay said.
Businessman Arthur Klemm, who has developed property at the intersection, also praised town officials for working together toward a solution.
“It’s just wonderful to see how the town is coming together to work on this issue,” Klemm said.
Officials agree it’s not easy.
“It’s a complex issue that has no easy answers,” Carpenter said.