The building at 800 Enfield St., adjacent to Town Hall, was leased by the town in June of 2020, to provide residents with a socially-distant way to pay local property taxes and access other services.
Now, the town is looking to acquire the building permanently, as well as the two acres on which it sits.
The funds, a total of $750,000 will come from the COVID-19 relief grants from the federal government.
Town Manager Chris Bromson said the original lease with the option to buy began as a creative way to deal with the pandemic.
“At the height of COVID, like everyone else, we were trying to find new and innovative ways to deliver services to our residents in safe ways,” he said, adding that when the former bank building became available, town officials agreed that it would be helpful to acquire it.
“Seniors have been able to drive through and pay their taxes, people are able to get their dog licenses, and a variety of other services that we’re able to add all the time,” Bromson said, adding that people may not realize that the buildings also sit on approximately two acres, which can be incorporated into the town’s plans for the expansion of Higgins Park, including two walking trails.
The building has also more recently become a substation for the Enfield Police Department.
The acquisition will also add approximately 100 new parking spaces for town hall and events on the town green, including the Enfield Regional Farmers Market and the town’s Fourth of July celebrations.
“I think it’s exciting to know, for our residents, that this is being completely paid for by the United States government, because we had the forethought to do this for COVID, and it was eligible,” Bromson said, adding that this project is just one for which the town will be using its American Rescue Plan Act funding, which amounts to $12.9 million over two years.
The Enfield Board of Education is also receiving separate funding. Other plans for the ARPA funds are detailed on the town’s website, www.enfield-ct.gov.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the funding.