Thomaston applies for state grants

Posted March 01, 2012, at 4:09 p.m.
Last modified March 01, 2012, at 6:09 p.m.

THOMASTON, Maine — Thomaston has announced it will apply for two state grants to assist both the business block area of town as well as the housing stock.

The town stated in a news release that it will apply for a $150,000 Community Enterprise Community Development Block Grant for the second phase of a Thomaston business block, the historic Union Block, business facade and streetscapes improvement project for economic development. Facade improvements would be made to the front and rear of the commercial building at 191-193 Main St., which is an attached part of the business block.

The CDBG and the property-owner’s matching funds would be used for repairing the mansard-style roof and cornice, re-pointing and sealing the brickwork, installing historically accurate and energy-efficient windows in the upper-level floors, removing the old patchwork plaster on the first-floor level, renovating the front and rear grocery store entrance, replacing front windows and painting.

CDBG funded streetscape improvements behind the Thomaston Block would involve the installation of underground conduits for future electrical and street lighting, new sidewalks and new period streetlights as well as improvements to town storm drainage. The in-place conduits would allow for overhead wires to be put underground in the third phase of the downtown improvements. Local matching funds are to be provided from revenues derived from the Thomaston Green Downtown Revitalization Tax Increment Financing District.

The application is due March 30.

The Phase I streetscape improvements involved the relocation of propane tanks from behind the Thomaston Business Block to a town-owned facility off Starr Street. Involved in the first two phases of improvements that have been ongoing for several years were the town, the business block property owners, planning consultant Rodney Lynch, Landmark Surveyors and Engineers of Rockport, Landscape Architect Regina Leonard of Topsham and Denis Lachman Architects and Planners of Portland.

The town also is proposing to apply for a CDBG Phase II housing assistance grant to recapitalize the CDBG multifamily housing rehabilitation loan program up to $300,000. Those funds are expected to be used to rehabilitate or improve to federal Section 8 housing standards to two apartment buildings consisting of 14 units located on Main Street and North Street. Work would include correcting building code and life safety code violations and ensuring energy conservation.

The CDBG funds and the property owner’s contributions would be used in the apartment building at 179-181 Main St. to completely gut and renovate two units. That work would include insulation, new kitchens and baths, new flooring, hallway Sheetrock work, hand rails and covering of exposed wires. Wired carbon monoxide and fire alarms also would be installed in all eight apartment units.

For the six-unit apartment building at 10-20 North St., improvements would involve conservation and energy cost reduction measures involving wall-hung propane hot water heaters and solar panels. That application is due May 4.

The town pointed out that since 2006 there has been a concentrated effort by the Thomaston Fire Department, code enforcement officer, property owners and the town’s rehabilitation and program administrative consultants to upgrade various apartment buildings in the town. This has resulted in the rehabilitation of three apartment buildings consisting of 21 units.

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