Hartford council approves deal for new downtown parking lot
Two businesses, downtown BID contribute to pay for project

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

June 12, 2019

HARTFORD — The Common Council Tuesday night gave unanimous approval to a plan that will allow construction of a new municipal parking lot adjacent to the downtown. The purchase of the property at the corner of Mill and Park Avenue, along with the cost to construct the new public lot, will be divided between the city, the downtown BID group, the Cobblestone Hotel and the Mineshaft Restaurant and its owner Michael Masters.

As part of the deal, the hotel and the Mineshaft will have overnight use of several parking stalls in the new lot, the Mineshaft’s adjacent gravel parking lot will be paved and parking stalls will be striped.

The site currently has a dilapidated two-story home and garage on it along with a yard heavily overgrown with weeds, trees, shrubs and other undergrowth. The site is also directly across the street from the Jack Russell Memorial Library.

“The net estimated total cost of the project to the city is $193,000 after all reimbursements are collected for the three other parties,” City Administrator Steve Volkert said earlier. “These funds would come from the originally allocated $1 million the city approved for downtown improvements in 2015.”

Volkert said the new lot will give the city about 42 additional parking spaces and with the spaces available in the other lot (owned by Masters) there should be a total of 86 parking stalls. Part of the agreement with the hotel is that some stalls (eight) are to be reserved for overnight parking by hotel customers.

“The agreement with the seller of the property will allow the city to take it over as of July 31,” Volkert said. “Work can begin right after that on demolition of the structures on the site. All of the work could have the lot ready for use by October.”

Both the city’s Finance and Personnel and Public Works committees had previously given the proposal unanimous approval. As part of the plan, lighting would also be added to both parking lots.

<<EARLIER: Hartford panel OKs plan for new downtown parking lot