Bath council OKs affordable housing funds, sewer overflow project

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BATH — The City Council on Wednesday unanimously accepted grant funds for development of affordable housing, and a sewer overflow reduction project.

The city applied earlier this year for a $500,000 housing assistance grant through the state Community Development Block Grant program, to help fund an affordable-housing apartment building on Tarbox Street. Up to 11 units are to be built.

The total estimated cost of the project is nearly $1.2 million, Scott LaFlamme, Bath’s community development director, has said. The CDBG funds will be used along with other funding sources accessed by the Bath Housing Authority.

The apartments are to be built on a nearly two-acre, vacant parcel, which Bath Iron Works donated to BHA in 1996. A prior CDBG application, filed in the mid-2000s, was unsuccessful, LaFlamme said.

All units would be handicapped-accessible, and the building will include an elevator.

The City Council also accepted a $60,000 CDBG Public Infrastructure Grant, which will fund infrastructure improvements geared toward reducing sewer overflows on Willow Street.

The panel also authorized an approximately $111,000 contract with Crooker Construction to prepare the track at the Edward J. McMann Outdoor Athletic Complex for replacement. The council then authorized a $178,500 contract with Maine Tennis & Track to install the new track.

Money for the first of 10 years of bonding for the project will be in the city’s fiscal 2017 capital budget. A down payment of $25,000 is in next year’s budget.

An artificial turf field at McMann, which the track surrounds, was installed in 2013 after several years of fundraising.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.