THOMASTOWN – The board of selectmen met Tuesday night and held an informational meeting with Kevin Flynn, grant writing consultant, to discuss the Community Development Block Grant program and grant opportunities currently available to the town and residents.
Flynn explained there are many uses for the grants, including housing and planning, and through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which Thomastown is considering in the upcoming years in order to install an elevator in the town hall to become ADA compliant. At this time there is not enough available money for this goal.
Another option is infrastructure, including sidewalks, roads, drainage, water and sewer lines.
The town has decided to reapply for Bolton Road, which is all set to proceed. All requirements for the project have been met. It was submitted last year but was not awarded funding because the state ran out money.
Flynn explained the town would get bonus points for applying jointly with another town. He recommends that Thomastown join forces with Phillipston. Thomastown is a Tier 1 community so it would need to be the lead town. He said that there is $16 million available to be distributed through the state and that the process is very competitive.
Flynn said there is a waiting list in town for housing projects and if any other residents are interested in applying for housing funds, they should contact Administrative Assistant Helen Divoll at 978-249-9641.
There are certain requirements that have to be met regarding how many reside in a household and their combined incomes in order to be awarded funding.
The board has made no final decision if they will stay with Montachusett Regional Planning Commission for their grant writing or go with Flynn. The fee is $3,000 if they stay with Flynn and $3,000 if they go with MRPC. MRPC recently laid off a large number of their grant-writing employees, including Flynn.