Glenburn, Hermon team up for housing improvement grant application

Posted Feb. 04, 2013, at 9:21 p.m.

GLENBURN, Maine — The Penobscot County communities of Glenburn and Hermon are teaming up on an application for $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds that would help residents upgrade their homes.

If the towns land a grant, as many as 40 homes could be improved, according to Ron Harriman, who serves as economic development consultant for both towns.

“That’s a lot,” Harriman said in a recent interview about the joint application, which must be submitted by early May. “We want to target health and safety and handicap accessibility improvements in homes owned by income-eligible households.”

Among the improvements the grant money would pay for are faulty septic systems, unsafe heating systems, windows, doors and roofs in need of replacement and projects that could make homes more energy efficient, Harriman said.

He said, however, that competition for the funds will be stiff this year, as only $1 million is available statewide. The two towns decided to apply for a grant together because they thought that would strengthen their application, he added.

Residents, however, can help make their application even stronger by showing a strong need for the assistance, Harriman said. They can help do that by completing one of the pre-application forms available through their town offices and town websites.

Residents also can express need for the funds during public hearings that will be held in each town this spring.

If the Glenburn-Hermon application is selected, town officials will notify the residents who have completed one of these forms. The work would be done over the summer, Harriman said.

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