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April 28. 2014 7:49PM

Record grant money to aid rehab projects across New Hampshire

PITTSBURG — A half-million-dollar award to the town of Pittsburg will provide the second phase of upgrading for its circa-1930 water system that had been prone to leakage and contamination.

The project will be one of several North Country efforts to improve and stabilize water and septic systems thanks to what New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority administrators say is a record $5.27 million in funding for affordable housing, public works, and to address failing infrastructure.

The work is designed to benefit low- and moderate-income residents in 13 communities throughout New Hampshire.

Pittsburg’s phase two will further boost that remediation effort by replacing some 3,100 feet of patched and decaying water main.

A similar project in Errol, using another CDFA $500,000 community development block grant, will be used also for much-needed improvements to that town’s water system.

The award will help fund installation of new water mains, well pump controls, improved sanitation systems, and water meters for all households on the system.

“There continues to be great demand from New Hampshire communities for projects that benefit the lives of low-to-moderate income individuals,” said Kevin Flynn, CDFA’s communications director.

“These CDBG awards are granted to towns and counties in every part of the state. Most importantly, they’ll provide quality housing and improved public services for more than 1,300 people, 1,000 of whom are low-to-moderate income. The impact … is substantial,” Flynn said in a news release.

In Stewartstown, a $250,000 grant will go toward water and drainage repairs at Northern View Apartments. Drainage problems there have caused coliform contamination in the building’s water supply.

A grant of $500,000 to Coös County will go toward the repurposing of Berlin’s abandoned Bartlett School. This building has been a neighborhood eyesore, steadily deteriorating because of flooding and mold growth. Work will completely rehab the structure and create 13 new units of affordable housing.

Also in Berlin, a separate $500,000 grant will support the city’s neighborhood revitalization program. That ongoing initiative has rehabilitated 65 housing units in blighted areas, making them energy efficient, lead-safe, and code-compliant.

In other areas of New Hampshire: Belknap County will get a $250,000 grant to assist the Laconia Area Community Land Trust’s construction of the River’s Edge project. The work at the 32-unit, three-story facility downtown on the Winnipesaukee River is expected to help mitigate the significant waiting list for affordable housing in Laconia.

Also in Belknap County, a $250,000 grant is aimed at acquiring Laconia’s St. James Church for the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. The money will be used as gap funding, allowing the group to purchase their first permanent clubhouse in seven years.

A $500,000 grant will go to Laconia to renovate the Laconia Housing Authority’s Strafford House. The 100-year-old building is in desperate need of major upgrades, according to city officials, including energy improvements. The facility uses nearly 30 percent more energy than the national average for a building its size, according to officials, who say financial savings once the work is completed should help offset operational costs.

The town of Gilford, on behalf of Old Lake Shore Cooperative, will receive $418,000 to improve deficient infrastructure at the co-op. An estimated 7,000 gallons of drinking water are lost to the wastewater system each day. The repair work would eliminate leakage and contamination, and bring the system into compliance with federal environmental regulations.

A $270,000 award will go to the city of Keene for the rehabilitation of Meadow Road apartments. The facility, operated by Keene Housing, needs major capital improvements, including to its heating system. The work is expected to address health and safety concerns as well as energy efficiency at the 18-unit affordable-housing facility.

The town of Winchester has been awarded $500,000 to benefit Woodcrest Housing, also known as Wedgewood Duplexes. The funds would allow Southwestern Community Services to acquire 15 duplexes and make needed improvements to infrastructure, safety and energy improvement. The project should eliminate the need to demolish these homes.

Sullivan County will receive a $185,590 grant to make infrastructure improvements to Claremont’s Earl Bourdon Senior Center. The award will be used for an overhaul of the 80-unit facility’s parking lot. The present layout makes it difficult for senior meals programs to make deliveries to elderly residents at the center.

The city of Concord, on behalf of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will receive $155,000 to expand the NAMI office. The grant will help make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A $500,000 grant will go to the town of Derry to replace the drinking water system at the Centennial Estates Cooperative. The 1960s-era septic system is prone to leaks and contamination. This work will add a reserve well and modernize all piping for the co-op’s 53 households.

“This is one of our largest funding rounds ever because of an additional $3 million in unused funds rolled over from 2013,” Flynn said.

The grants are awaiting final approval from the Governor and Executive Council, Flynn said.


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