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NARRAGANSETTâThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is seeking bids for the potential construction of parking garages in the Port of Galilee. Lots 96 and 117 have been identified for development, which will be leased by DEM to a builder after a competitive bid process.
âParking in Galilee takes on a rather large footprint,â said Larry Mouradjian, Associate Director of Natural Resources at DEM. âWhile most of the area is designated to support the commercial fishing industry, the potential concept to deal with consolidating parking and making other land areas for development is within the Galilee Master Plan.â
âThere is an ongoing need to improve the aging infrastructure in Galilee to support the commercial fishing industry and the landside businesses in the Port,â said DEM Director Janet Coit. âModernizing our state-supported port operations is vital to the future of our commercial fisheries, and consolidating parking would create new opportunities to improve port assets at Galilee.â
A new parking garage will service the multiple uses in Galilee, from Port businesses to beach traffic at Salty Brine State Beach and tourists in transit on the Block Island Ferry. DEM will encourage bidders to develop alternative use plans for the parking garages in the off-season, such as for temporary boat storage and other commercial fishing needs.
âThis is not to increase parking, but to take what we have there and consolidate,âsaid Mouradjian.
Currently, parking areas comprise of about 12 acres of land in Galilee, which a new parking garage would consolidate in order to free up existing land for other purposes. Lots 96 and 117, located on Great Island Road, cover an area of 160,000 and 30,000 square feet respectively. The lots are zoned for business in the Galilee Special District Plan. Mouradjian did note, however, that the bidding process is still in its early stages.
âIf there are responses to our advertisements we put in the newspapers, we will review proposals and engage with the town of Narragansett,â said Mouradjian. âIf we all agree that a parking garage is doable, then we will work with those individuals on design, construction, and implementation. If no interest appears, then we are committed to the same type of allocations we have there.â
Mouradjian stated that DEM has already spoken with officials from Narragansett and Block Island in order to address their viewpoints and concerns regarding the construction of a new parking garage.
âBlock Island wants to maintain parking accommodations for Block Island residents and tourists with affordable parking opportunities, so the state would consider price control as part of the discussion,â said Mouradjian.
The bidder awarded with the contract to build a new parking garage would be responsible for all construction and operating costs of the project, and parking fees are approved by DEM. The selection of a final bidder is subject to approval by the State Properties Committee.
âThis is not a state capital project, but one for which we are simply advertising for any private interest,â said Mouradjian.
Proposals will be accepted until 10 a.m. on April 3 by the Department of Administration (DOA), Division of Purchases. DEM will hold a pre-proposal informational conference at 11 a.m. on February 28 at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street in Providence.