Thames River Heritage Park group to evaluate water taxi proposals
Four potential operators of a water taxi between sites in New London and Groton have submitted proposals to run the service for the Thames River Heritage Park, the multi-site state park under development for the past two years.
“We’re thrilled we received these four proposals,” said James Butler, executive director of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, which is working with the team of local officials and residents advancing the park. “I’m sure we will be able to select an experienced operator from among them.”
The four proposals were received by the council of governments by the deadline Tuesday. Butler said he could not provide details about them.
On Wednesday, he and Groton City Mayor Marian Galbraith will meet with other members of the park development team to begin reviewing the proposals.
Galbraith said local residents with relevant expertise in water taxi service have also been invited.
“We’ll be using a score sheet to evaluate them,” she said.
The park group has obtained two surplus Navy vessels that will be used to ferry passengers between Fort Trumbull State Park and City Pier in New London and the landing near Fort Griswold in Groton.
A fourth leg to the Submarine Force Library & Museum in Groton is planned for the future. The service is slated to begin this summer.
Butler said that during Wednesday’s meeting, the group will review the proposed fees, experience and other qualifications of the applicants, and decide which ones to interview.
“The process could take a couple of weeks,” he said.
Galbraith said the group that reviews the proposals will make a recommendation to the entire Thames River Heritage Park Transition Team, which would make the final decision on the operator.
“I’m really pleased with this response,” she said. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”
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