LINCOLN, Maine — Efforts to build a 24-unit senior housing complex at the former Lake Mall site are progressing, but expect the crater on Main Street to remain a crater for at least another year.
The Town Council voted 7-0 during a meeting Monday to allow Town Manager Lisa Goodwin to write a letter of intent to file for a Community Development Block Grant program Housing Assistance Grant on behalf of Lakeview Senior Housing.
The letter, town Economic Development Assistant Ruth Birtz said, is a step toward building the proposed 15,000-square-foot complex at Main Street and West Broadway.
“There are a lot more steps to go,” Birtz said after the meeting. “This is just one piece of the puzzle.”
The plan will include a Lincoln branch office for social service agency Penquis of Bangor, and a town office if councilors approve the idea. Councilors voted in September to allow Goodwin to sign a credit enhancement agreement and pursue tax breaks to aid Penquis’ efforts.
Construction would begin in spring 2010 at the earliest, Birtz said. Penquis officials said in September that they had hoped to begin by August 2009 and finish a year later.
If Penquis succeeds, it will have rehabilitated the last of eight properties devastated by arson in 2002. The fires destroyed eight of 32 Main Street businesses.
In other council news:
ä Councilors voted unanimously to shift a Pine Tree Zone designation covering 38 acres at Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC on Katahdin Avenue to Haskell Lumber Co., 431 Main St.
Haskell already received $3,000 from Lincoln in February 2008 to hire Eastern Maine Development Corp. to help the business diversify. Located on U.S. Route 2, Haskell Lumber offers hardware, plumbing and housing construction supplies plus a sawmill. It has been family-owned for generations.
Council chairman Steve Clay said he knew Haskell was developing expansion plans but was unaware of those plans reaching fruition. It could not be determined late Monday how much of the 38 acres is already owned or developed by the company.
ä Councilor Michael Ireland and his wife, Councilor Marscella Ireland, thanked emergency service providers for their kindness and professionalism in handling a truck accident that claimed the life of his mother, 90-year-old Beulah Ireland of Lincoln, on Dec. 29.
Ireland had just started walking across Route 2 to get her mail when an eastbound truck hit her at about 1:40 p.m. near G.E. Goding & Sons, 841 West Broadway. The accident is under investigation. Police Chief William Flagg has said it is unlikely that charges would result.
Ireland said he also might discuss with U.S. Postal Service officials why so many mailboxes line the westbound side of the road. They have been there since at least 1941, when the Ireland family first built their home, he said.