THOMASTON — The Economic Development Commission, meeting on Monday, July 8, planned for the issuance of new business welcome packets and discussed parking problems in Thomaston’s downtown district and beyond. 

A discussion took place about new business welcome packets to make information available about government, municipal, business, club and organization listings for the public. 

Ideas about creating a bigger online presence were explored, most notably by using the town’s website calendar to publicize community events in a central location. 

Commission Vice Chairman Matthew Stancavage thought it would be worthwhile to draft a “frequently asked question” web page on the Economic Development Commission’s website to share information with business owners.  

Chairman Jeff Dunn recommended creating a task force to establish new resources for the public to explore online.  

Mr. Dunn presented an update on a parking survey which would be made available to business owners and patrons about the downtown development district.

He told the commission that the parking survey will be posted to SurveyMonkey soon, allowing the public time to access the survey and provide input about the current state of parking in downtown Thomaston. 

Mr. Dunn posed the idea to design and purchase parking meter covers that would be placed on the meters in downtown with an inscription reading that the parking spaces are free of charge, on behalf of the Economic Development Commission and downtown district of Thomaston. 

Commission member Mike Madow suggested creating accessible parking near the basketball court. 

A discussion ensued about parking complications throughout the town and the commission identified key areas of interest to consider to create more parking spaces and accessibility. 

Mr. Stancavage noted that a buffer zone would need to be considered between the basketball court and potential parking space. 

Secretary Sue Holway characterized the parking situation by the Little League field as “a disaster and dangerous.”

Member Roxanne LeRoy agreed, saying this was especially the case when navigating the parking lot area after a Sunday afternoon game. 

Chairman Dunn added, “It is time to start a conversation.” 

Mr. Stancavage mentioned that he recently spoke with Scoop It Up ice cream shop owner Roderic Gonzalez about parking problems near his business on East Main Street.

He relayed that Mr. Gonzalez said that non-patron parking in front of Mr. Gonzalez’s business has excluded customers from coming into his shop.

Instead of coming to Scoop It Up, drivers park their vehicles in spaces along the curb, crossing the road to the local bars and restaurants like Crabby Al’s Seafood Restaurant. 

“I just want to get some signs saying 15-minute, 30-minute parking,” Mr. Gonzalez told the Town Times. 

When Mr. Stancavage spoke with Mr. Gonzalez, he requested signage to be placed outside of the parking spots, which designates time limits for those parking spaces. 

Mr. Dunn and the commission considered the possible effects of enforcing designated parking in front of the ice cream shop

The request requires additional review to remain in compliance with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

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