The Village of Port Jefferson got a boost when Suffolk County approved a $200,000 grant to help it transform a site on Barnum Avenue into a paved parking lot.

As reported earlier this year in GreaterPortJeff, the village acquired a home at 303 Barnum Avenue in 2017, which was later demolished to clear space for the new lot.

The location will be transformed into a paved parking lot big enough for 46 vehicles — an 8 percent increase in parking for the area.

Mayor Margot Garant told GreaterPortJeff recently in a phone call that the grant will come from Suffolk County’s Jumpstart program dedicated to projects in municipalities that are shovel ready.

The Barnum Avenue parking lot is one of eight projects that was unanimously approved for the program earlier this month by the Suffolk County Legislature through the Department of Economic Development and Planning. In total there is $5 million available for these projects. Other projects getting funding through the grant include the renovation of Babylon Village’s historic Argyle Falls and improvements to a pedestrian and bicycle pathway in Bay Shore.

“It’s good money going to a good purpose,” said Garant of the grant the village will receive.

Garant said that the location of the new parking lot is key being contiguous to Caroline Avenue ball field and close to the popular Rocketship Park that was completely renovated in 2017. She said the parking lot will feature two electric car charging stations.

On Thursday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Legislator Kara Hahn came to the village to sign a ceremonial resolution approving the grant for the project.

In a Facebook post about the event, Bellone said that the parking lot project “complements ongoing redevelopment in the Port Jefferson area, including new housing and infrastructure improvements.”

The project is going out to bid at the end of the month and village officials think they should be able to begin work in early spring 2020. The total cost for the work is estimated to be about $900,000.

Anyone who visits the village knows that parking is at a premium and these lots will inflate the current stock of available spaces slightly.

“It’s the first brand new parking lot in 50 years,” said Garant.

prior coverage

Top: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signing the ceremonial resolution for the parking lot for Port Jefferson with Mayor Margot Garant (credit: Facebook).