Bath seeks grant for affordable housing project

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

BATH — A nine-unit, affordable-housing apartment building could be built on Tarbox Street, if the city receives a state-supplied federal grant.

The City Council held a public hearing Wednesday on its application to the Community Development Block Grant program. The city, applying on behalf of the Bath Housing Authority, seeks a $500,000 housing assistance grant to help fund the project.

The total estimated cost of the project is nearly $1.2 million, according to Scott LaFlamme, Bath’s community development director. The CDBG grant would be used along with other funding sources accessed by BHA.

If it receives the grant, the city will administer the money, but BHA will be the subgrantee and get the funding, LaFlamme said.

The apartments would be built on a nearly two-acre vacant parcel, according to a March 26 memo from LaFlamme to the City Council. The city granted the project subdivision approval in 2005, and will decide on an amended subdivision, as well as site plan approval, this spring.

Bath Iron Works donated the property to BHA in 1996. A prior CDBG application, filed in the mid-2000s, was unsuccessful, LaFlamme said.

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

While the council took no action on the matter Wednesday, it was required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to hold the hearing prior to submitting the application, LaFlamme said.

If the city receives the funding, which may not happen until summer, the council must also vote to accept it.

Following an executive session later in the meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to sell a 2,410-square-foot strip of Court Street to developer Mark Sewall for $15,000.

Sewall wants to tear down a vacant former Dunkin’ Donuts building and develop a retail business or restaurant. He needs the adjoining city land in part to meet setback requirements, City Manager Bill Giroux said Tuesday.

The project will ultimately go before the city for site plan and contract rezoning approvals, Giroux said.

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.