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Mayor seeks more money for Greenfield parking garage; hopes to have designs to show state by fall

GREENFIELD — Mayor William Martin is looking for more money from the state to build a municipal parking garage and hopes to have at least preliminary designs by fall to help support his request.

Martin said he plans to use some of the $5 million the state has already earmarked for a downtown municipal parking garage for the design.

“Then, we’ll have something to show the state when we apply for the next grant,” he said.

Martin said he isn’t sure when that will be, because it is still waiting to hear from the state on how to go about accessing some of the money.

“We don’t actually get the $5 million for construction until the project is shovel-ready,” he said. “Once we have a design, we’ll be there.”

The state announced it had approved $5 million for the municipal parking garage in April.

The town has estimated it will cost about $9 million to build what it originally wanted — a three- to four-story garage — so Martin said the town still has a way to go.

He said he doesn’t want to build a much smaller parking garage, because there would be no point.

The parking garage is one of the town’s major unfinished projects of its Bank Row Urban Renewal Zone.

Martin said he would like to see the municipal parking garage be built before the courthouse renovation is completed.

“We’re going to need those extra parking spaces,” he said.

Eric Twarog, the town’s director of planning and development, said the garage will have just under 300 parking spaces.

Martin was the first to discuss the need for a municipal garage when he was chairman of the Greenfield Redevelopment Authority, before he was elected mayor in 2009.

The GRA bought the former Hapco auto parts building on Olive Street in 2008 in preparation for building a parking garage on that site and adjacent municipal parking lots.

Martin has maintained that he does not want the municipal parking garage to cost taxpayers anything, so he has sought grants and other types of funding for the project from the beginning.

Martin said the town will apply for another grant as soon as it gets the “OK” from the state.

The mayor said he hopes to start construction on the Olive Street site within the next couple of years.

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