WILTON — A proposal to purchase and develop the former Primary School into an apartment building has come before the Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.
A public hearing on the proposal will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the town office, prior to the board’s meeting.

Keith Swett will discuss his request to purchase the building for $1 from the town and convert it into nine apartments, she said. Swett, his wife, Suzanne, and their children propose a combination of one, two and three bedroom units with full bathrooms and possibly special features like dishwashers, he said.

“They will be larger than other apartments in town and look more like a regular home,” Swett said.

Swett, who sold his East Dixfield band saw business last year, has been working since March as a maintenance man at 82 High Street Inc. in Farmington, a housing complex with 31-units including 13 apartments and 18 mobile homes.

“I’ve learned a lot from them,” he said.

Swett proposed the sale price of $1 because the estimates for the project include $50,000 for asbestos removal and another $20,000 to install a sprinkler system. The exterior walls need to be removed and replaced, raising the price to $200,000 to get the building ready for renovation, he said. Construction of the apartments brings the total price to more than $500,000 for the project, he said.

Swett asked the board for the town’s assistance in applying for a Community Development Block Grant and a Maine State Housing tax increment financing agreement, Irish said. He told the board he would continue with the project even if grant and TIF funds are not available, she said. He wants to provide quality affordable housing and will present more specifics and answer questions Tuesday, she said.

Voters gave the board authority to sell or make suitable use of the building, which the town acquired in 2007. It was valued at $370,000 then. It has been listed with a commercial broker.

“This is the first offer, of any sort, made since the town acquired the school,” Irish said.

Without grant funding, Swett was initially looking at having the project completed in a year, he said. Applying for grants will probably mean not starting until next summer.

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Selectmen want to hear from residents on a proposal to convert the former Wilton Primary School into apartments. A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the town office before the board’s meeting.

Selectmen want to hear from residents on a proposal to convert the former Wilton
Primary School into apartments. A public hearing will be held
at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the town office before the board’s meeting.


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