Bath council OKs bids for street work, housing grant

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BATH — The City Council on Wednesday unanimously selected two bids from a Damariscotta company for road improvements, and approved receiving federal funds to renovate an apartment building.

The first bid from Hagar Enterprises, of about $283,000, is for paving this summer and fall on several city streets.

That list includes East Milan Street, South Street, Washington Street from North to Summer streets, Middle Street from north of Marshall Street to the dead end, Clifton Street, Whiskeag Road from Whiskeag Creek to North Bath Road, High Street from Court Street to the U.S. Route 1 bridge, and another stretch of High Street from North Street to the railroad tracks.

Hagar submitted the “lowest responsible bid,” Public Works Director Lee Leiner said in a July 2 memo to the council.

The company, which also paved Bath streets last year, has “an excellent reputation and (city) staff has a high level of confidence in their ability to perform the work in the allotted time and for the contract amount,” Leiner said.

Both contracts with Hagar are funded through a $2.8 million street improvement bond that city voters approved last November.

The other project, for which Hagar bid about $293,000, will fund the second reconstruction phase of North Street. Sidewalks and road pavement are to be reconstructed, utility poles relocated, lighting updated, and new sewer infrastructure installed on North Street between the intersections with High and Washington streets.

The city is funding half the work, with the Maine Department of Transportation’s Municipal Partnership Initiative program paying for the rest.

The City Council also accepted a $745,000 Community Development Block Grant, part of which would fund Bath Housing’s renovation of six apartments at 41-43 Lincoln St., a multi-family home erected in 1915.

The Maine Office of Community Development informed City Manager Peter Owen June 22 that after reviewing Bath’s CDBG application, the office was inviting city officials to advance the project to the development phase. The invitation hinges on funding coming through from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and confirmation of the city’s receipt of the funds should come later this year.

Through the funding, Bath Housing plans to buy up to three additional multi-family buildings, and to ultimately rehabilitate 18 apartments.

Since a municipality must apply for the funding, the city serves as the grantee on behalf of Bath Housing. The units would be affordable to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

A similar CDBG program partnership with the city allowed Bath Housing to renovate housing at 28 Maple St., where an open house was held in January.

Bath Housing used MaineHousing loan funds to purchase the Lincoln Street units, and will likely use additional funds of that type to buy future properties, according to Debora Keller, the organization’s executive director.

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

Bath Housing looks to use part of a $745,000 grant to rehabilitate apartments at 41-43 Lincoln St.

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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.