SOUTHINGTON — Town officials hope a state grant will allow them to establish a parking lot in downtown Plantsville to alleviate parking issues on West Main Street while also helping businesses in the area.
Last year the town applied for a Small Town Economic Assistant Program grant for about $497,000 to start some of the work associated with the proposed Plantsville Renaissance project, which includes adding an overlook to the bridge over the Quinnipiac River, sidewalk improvements, and bench seating. The funds weren’t awarded.
Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo said the town will apply for the 2014 STEAP grant this year but decided to focus on one project in the hopes of having the funds approved. At the Economic Development Strike Committee meeting last week Perillo asked members to come up with priorities for the potential STEAP grant to go towards. They unanimously chose the parking lot in Plantsville to be done first for $225,000 to $250,000.
“We hope that they recognize we reduced it over 50 percent,” Perillo said.
The parking will be east of the Quinnipiac River next to Quinn’s Tavern Grill & Bar and will add a gain of about 20 spaces, Perillo said.
“I think it’s time to start focusing our efforts on Plantsville,” said Michael DelSanto, a member of the economic strike committee and chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
DelSanto added that “Plantsville is just as vital” of an economic driver as downtown Southington. Obtaining the funds is the first step into getting the project underway.
“Plantsville has been priority for the town,” said Dawn Miceli, a member of the economic strike committee and a town councilor.
Miceli said the town has had plans and is “shovel ready” in case any state grants and funding becomes available.
Perillo said he hopes to apply for the grant within the next month or so.