Huntington Town Board members voted Tuesday to approve a $1.6 million contract to buy a parcel in downtown Huntington and use it for about 66 new public parking spaces.
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said officials are also preparing to issue a request for proposal, possibly by the end of summer, to build a parking facility, likely in the same area.
The parcel is on the southeast corner of West Carver and Green streets. Its owner, Anna Louise Realty II, LLC, will retain an adjoining parking parcel and building.
Petrone said the measure is a continued effort to address the constant need for parking in the downtown. In recent years, the town has changed the parking meters, restriped and added spots to lots, and offered valet parking.
"We made a commitment that parking is a continuum," he said. "This will add like 66 more spots, which is substantial given the needs in the town; it's a beginning."
The parcel has about 30 parking spaces, which Petrone expects to double once the lot is reconfigured and restriped. He said motorists also will have access to the adjoining parking parcel that is not town-owned if spaces are available.
The town's parking consortium, created by Petrone in 2012 to study the area's parking options, recommended the purchase. The consortium includes the town's Economic Development Corporation, the Huntington Business Improvement District and the town's Chamber of Commerce.
Petrone said the purchase will be funded by a bond, most likely for 10 years. The measure was approved 5 to 0 at Tuesday's town board meeting.
"Extra parking is always good for the town," said town board member Susan Berland. "The village is a well-attended place; it's got great entertainment, great restaurants, great stores. We want to encourage people to come; and whenever we can get parking spaces and add to that, it helps accommodate the merchants."