As development continues in Gardiner’s historic downtown, city officials are talking about parking.

In September, the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments undertook a downtown parking study in partnership with the state Department of Transportation, which included an online survey to gather opinions from people who live, work and shop in the area.

“Like with anything, it’s planning for the future,” Tracey Desjardins, Gardiner’s economic development director and planner, said. “What are the parking needs now and what will they become within the next five years or so? That’s something as a municipality we’re looking at. We’re looking at a vibrant community, a walkable community with the trails and the river.”

Dejardins said the city wants people to know if they come to Gardiner to visit or shop, there will be parking.

In the last year, new development in the Dingley Block on Water Street has highlighted the limits on parking in downtown Gardiner. Five buildings just south of Reny’s department store had been unoccupied for several years until Gardiner Main Street bought them and sold them to developers who have and are planning to open both retail and residential spaces in the buildings.

Among the possible solutions is a vacant lot on Water Street south of the Dingley Block. Gardiner Main Street acquired that lot when it took ownership of the buildings. The organization, geared to building a vibrant downtown, secured a $110,000 grant from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to identify and remediate contamination on the site.

When that’s done, it’s possible that the sloping quarter-acre lot, formerly home to Bailey’s Auto Sales, could be leveled and dedicated to parking when the work is completed later this year.

Elected officials are also expected to consider whether to send the city’s proposed food sovereignty ordinance to a first read.

The council is also expected to:

• Conduct a public hearing on and consider renewing the liquor license for Three Bridges A1 Diner

• Consider approving of a food truck license for Millers Pride Food Truck

• Consider approving a license of consumption of alcohol outside at the Gardiner Elks 1293

• Consider approving a major special event permit for Free ME from Lung Cancer

• Consider approving the 2020 election staff list

• Consider approving a seller listing agreement extension with Keller Williams/Magnusson Balfour for 10 lots

• Consider appointments and reappointments to city boards and committees

• Meet Robert Perkins, who is Gardiner’s harbor master, safety officer and animal control officer

• Hear an update on E911 addressing update

• Review and possibly accept a tax-acquired property bid for 38 Partridge Drive

• Discuss, evaluate and possibly approve sewer abatement requests

• Accept minutes of Nov. 19 and Dec. 4 meetings

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m., Wednesday in the City Council Chamber at 6 Church St.

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