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Fate of Athol billboard up in the air

  • Strong February winds brought down this billboard on Main Street and repairs will be in the works soon. —Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • Strong February winds brought down this billboard on Main Street and repairs will be in the works soon. —Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

Published: 3/19/2019 5:13:41 PM
Modified: 3/19/2019 5:15:12 PM

Staff Writer

ATHOL — A  billboard that was blown down by strong winds last month may be getting a rebuild, depending on several factors. The bent and broken 10’ x 20’ sign on upper Main Street next to the Country Smoke Shop parking lot had been used for advertising for about four years by Athol and Heywood Hospitals. 

“This is the first time we’ve ever had any issues,” said Marissa Colcord, Communications Manager for both hospitals. Colcord said the billboard’s owner, Karen Chenausky, notified them after it had been knocked down. Colcord said that the displays change as needed for time-sensitive and general hospital care advertising, and that Lyman Signs had been contacted about repairing or rebuilding it.

Chenausky could not be reached for comment.

Jake Lyman of Lyman Signs said if it is determined to be cost feasible, the billboard will have to be replaced and built up to a new code.

According to Athol Building Inspector Robert Legare, by zoning bylaw, the billboard, considered a non-conforming use structure, must be rebuilt within two years.

Town zoning bylaw 3.1.2 under Restoration states that “any non-conforming structure or building damaged by fire, storm, or other causes may be repaired or rebuilt as a non-conforming structure or building provided that such rebuilding does not exceed the structure’s or building’s market value at time of catastrophe by more than 75%. Any restoration beyond that extent, and any restoration not completed within two years after such catastrophe, must conform to the provisions of this Bylaw.”



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