Officials developing plan to address drainage, parking problems in downtown Mystic

Mystic — Stonington officials are in the early stages of developing a plan to address downtown flooding problems and provide much-needed public parking.

Town Engineer Scot Deledda and First Selectman Rob Simmons have been discussing a potential plan to make drainage improvements to the Fourth District Voting Hall property on Broadway to stop water from high tides and storm surges from backing up and flooding the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, they have been looking at creating a gravel parking lot once the drainage work is done.

Deledda called the project “a rare opportunity where things line up” to address two longstanding problems.

Deledda said the fact that the town owns the property means it can access the drain line and help mitigate the problem without having to obtain easements from property owners.

He said the project would stop water from backing up into catch basins and flooding properties in the low-lying area.

Deledda said the plan is based on work done by the Conway School of Design, which looked at recommendations made in the town’s Coastal Resiliency Study. He said that the Conway study recommended drainage improvements on the site as well as creating a rain garden, small boardwalk and about 20 parking spots.

The Conway report states that the 0.6-acre site’s “downtown location makes it a potentially appropriate space for providing additional parking, which is a concern in the community during the tourist season.”

Deledda said at this point the plan is in the early stages. To move forward, he said the town would have to obtain funding for the work and gain approval. He said there also would have to be discussions with neighbors about the plan.

“We have to be mindful of the community’s thinking and the neighborhood,” he said.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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