Stonington hires planning firm for boathouse park project

Stonington — The Mystic River Boathouse Park Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend the town hire Kent + Frost of Mystic as the master planner for the $2.2 million project.

The Board of Selectmen is expected to vote on signing a contract with the firm at its June 14 meeting. The town will use a $200,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to fund the firm’s services.

In announcing the recommendation, the town said it received nine proposals from firms along the East Coast. Those were reduced to five firms, which were then interviewed by a panel of committee members and town staff.

“Kent and Frost rose above the rest for several reasons not the least of which was their very competitive price,” according to the announcement.

“We had a 15-inches-high stack of proposals to weed through,” First Selectman and park committee Chairman Rob Simmons said. “... and there were some amazingly talented firms that were interested in this project; but Kent and Frost emerged as the eventual winner.”

Last year, residents approved $2.2 million in borrowing to create the public park and the town closed on the $1.67 million purchase of the 1.5-acre property on Route 27 just north of Mystic Seaport in January. The Mystic River Boathouse Park Implementation Committee is creating a detailed plan for the project. The town then will have to obtain a permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The town has reached an agreement with the Friends of Stonington Crew, in which the organization will raise money and construct a dock and boathouse on the property for use by the Stonington High School crew team and the public.

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