FARMINGTON — The 82 High Street housing development recently received a $500,000 grant and a $540,000 loan to start Phase 3 renovations.

The next step is an application for a Community Development Block Grant of up to $500,000 for the $1.54 million project to raze three apartment buildings and replace them with three modular buildings, said Rachel Jackson Hodsdon of Creative Energy that manages the complex.

A public hearing is planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Municipal Building during the Board of Selectmen meeting. The town is asked to serve as administrator of the grant.

There is no cost to the town, but voters at the March 28 town meeting will have to decide whether to approve participation, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

“These grant programs have been very effective at improving the lives of our citizens and enhancing the appearance of the community,” Davis said. “The 82 High Street project is a great example of the success of the CDBG programs.”

The CDBG application is due in May. The complex’s governing board is hopeful it will be approved by early July so the project can be finished by November.

If they don’t get the grant, the board has discussed whether to do two this year and one next year, Jackson Hodsdon said.

“The 12 apartments are really tired and worn,” Jackson Hodsdon said. “We looked at renovating them but for the amount of work needed it seemed better to tear down and build new.”

The $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank was received in December, she said. Franklin Savings Bank made the application, she said.

Of 123 nationwide applications, the local project came in fourth, she said. A total of $16 million was awarded to 32 projects.

The board secured the $540,000 loan through Franklin Savings.

The challenge is to make improvements to the apartments while keeping them affordable for tenants, many of whom are not receiving financial aid from other programs, she said.

The plans include installing three new Keiser modular buildings. Built in Oxford, each will hold four apartments. They will be well insulated and have heat pumps. Cousineau Inc. of Wilton is the local dealer for the homes.

“They will not be fancy but decent and clean,” Jackson Hodsdon said. “Everyone deserves that.”

To maintain housing for the tenants during construction, the office and bus stop on the right of Sawtelle Lane will be removed and the first modular set there. Tenants will move as each unit in installed.

It is more difficult for the contractor this way, but the purpose is to help people and not make them relocate, Jackson Hodsdon said.

The first phase completed in 2012 involved rehabilitating 17 mobile homes. The second was completed last year, centering new water and sewer lines.

82 High Street is governed by a 15-member board composed of three tenants, representatives from six churches, a town representative, four community members and representatives from Western Maine Community Action.


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