State gives Milford $150,000 for train station parking plan

The State Bond Commission has approved funding for economic development near the Milford train station.

Milford will get $150,000 from the state to pay for a site plan and market analysis for property it intends to purchase near the Milford train station, according to a press release from State Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg and State Rep. Kim Rose.

Mayor Ben Blake has said the four downtown lots — 44 to 64 River Street, 0 River Street, 145 High Street and 0 Railroad Avenue — will be used for parking, and eventually a parking garage.

“This is the result of a collaborative effort by our delegation and the mayor to bring further economic development to downtown Milford,” said Sen. Slossberg. “I look forward to developing the plans in cooperation with the local businesses that currently exist at the site to assure that their input is counted in this process.”

Rep. Rose added, “This funding, which will help with planning the necessary and critical groundwork for the train station project, is much appreciated.”

Last November, Governor Dannel Malloy announced nearly $5 million to support Phase I of the “Downtown Milford Parking Addition.”

That initial state money allows the city to purchase those four lots, which are approximately 2.2 acres of property next to the Milford train station. The new parking is expected to be used to alleviate parking shortages for the rail station, courthouse and local businesses.

In January, Milford’s aldermen voted to move forward with plans to purchase the four lots. Corner Convenience and several long-time businesses currently exist on one of the parcels, and the mayor said the city would honor their leases as long as possible.

State officials said the latest funding is part of a continued effort to encourage transit-oriented development.

“The goal is to use the development of new housing and business space near transit hubs to encourage the use of mass transit, reducing reliance on driving and resulting in more livable communities,” according to a state press release.

“Investments in projects like this one in Milford will help lay the foundation for long-term sustainable growth, ensuring that these communities are accommodating to workers, customers and businesses alike,” Governor Malloy said. “These transit-oriented projects will mean an increase in economic activity, less traffic congestion and an overall improvement in residents’ quality of life.”