RUMFORD – Strathglass Park owners may have a chance to receive funding for the repair of some of its historic buildings if the town is approved for a $250,000 federal grant.

The grant, if approved in April, would assist owners and tenants in the residential park that was built by Oxford Paper Co. founder Hugh Chisholm more than a century ago, and also help owners of other income eligible properties in town.

A group of Strathglass Park owners and tenants have been organizing to raise money to help with repairs and identify owners and buildings that would fall under the federal grant guidelines.

They have also formed a neighborhood watch committee with the help of Rumford police, and hold regular monthly meetings to work on issues. People may also donate their bottle deposits turned into Waldo Street Redemption for Strathglass Park restoration projects.

Audrey Guay, a 40-year park resident, chairs the Strathglass Property Owners Association. The group has completed paperwork to become a nonprofit so donations for the restoration of the 55 duplex buildings within the park’s gates can be tax deductible. Another dozen brick buildings, also built by Chisholm, are located just outside Strathglass Park.

Guay’s family has lived in the park since it was built.

“We’re trying to get things done. We’re always looking for new members,” she said.

Phil Blampied, coordinator of Grow Rumford and a member of SPOA, said the grant must be matched by $20,000 cash and $5,000 in-kind work from the town, which is applying for the grant.

He said the SPOA has been working to identify properties that fall under the low to moderate income requirement of the federal grant.

A public hearing by the Planning Board on the grant is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, in the Municipal Building. Another hearing is scheduled by selectmen for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, also in the Municipal Building.

The Strathglass Property Owners Association meets at 10 a.m. Jan. 3 at the Rumford Public Library when members will discuss the upcoming public hearings, efforts toward nonprofit status, and fundraising ideas. The group normally meets on the first Saturday of each month.

Guay said anyone interested in preserving the history of what is believed to be the first planned residential park in the state, is welcome to attend.

The park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, according to Maine Historic Preservation. Chisholm built the residential park to house employees of the growing paper industry.


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