Group wants bond items joined

DANBURY - Proponents of a new 400-space parking garage downtown want to win at a May referendum. So their strategy is to stick with winners.

As it stands now, voters will be asked to vote separately May 9 on the parking garage bond proposal and two other bond proposals. But parking garage proponents think the garage will have better luck if it is grouped with the police station bond package, which they believe is more popular. "I think it stands a far better chance of passing," said
Robert Steinberg , a member of the Parking Authority board. "We need public parking in the downtown. We need to have parking." The police station project has Mayor
Mark Boughton 's strong support, and parking project proponents hope to use that clout to get voters to approve their project. Parking garage proponents plan to ask the Common Council at its next public hearing to group the items together. Mayor Mark Boughton could not be reached for comment. The three separate bonds are: ŸThe Library Place parking garage proposal, $6.6 million. ŸThe public safety bond package, $48 million, including $33.8 million for a new police headquarters. ŸThe bond to improve the sewage treatment plant on Plumtrees Road, $5.8 million. The proposed police headquarters would be built on 4.7 acres of land at the corner of Main and East Franklin streets. Last Thursday, parking authority members voted unanimously in favor of combining the garage bond with the police and sewer bonds. Steinberg thinks that having a combined campaign to push for all the bond projects is more effective than having separate ones. "It would be easier to run one campaign supporting it," Steinberg said. Steinberg said that the city administration should "back them all" and "lobby for them all," so "the sum of the whole is greater than the parts." "I believe if the administration is going to put together a package .Ÿ.Ÿ. then you put your faith and credit in one proposal," Steinberg said. Deborah Pacific , executive director of the Danbury Parking Authority , said parking authority board members think the garage proposal will have a better chance of passing if combined with the others. "We want the public to get out there and vote in favor of it," Pacific said. "There is a need for the parking garage."

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