NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Housing Authority Executive Director Jennifer Hohn reported that although the former Sun Cleaners property is still undergoing an environmental study, she does not anticipate an expensive cleanup.
"The latest update I have is we just have two more days of drilling for the 21E," Hohn told the Housing Authority Committee on Thursday. "I think considering what they have found so far, we don’t have to worry about a lot of money for clean up."
Hohn said other than the 111 River St. property in question, the rest of Housing Opportunities Inc.'s properties have been transferred to the city and the Louison House.
For the past six years the Housing Authority, operating as HOI, has been in discussion with the city about dissolving the program created to help first-time homeowners.
The only property that has been in limbo is the former dry cleaners because the city was concerned about taking a property that could have possible contamination.
Once the city accepts the former Sun Cleaners property, HOI can dissolve.
In other business, Hohn reported that the Greylock Family Apartment Community Center project is still in flux and the Housing Authority has yet to receive approval from U.S. Housing and Urban Development.
"I have not heard anything but I will keep trying," she said. "We need to leverage part of our assets to build. HUD is hesitant to allow it, especially in this political climate."
She said she has applied for a Family Self-sufficiency Coordinator grant that could help the HUD process.
Hohn asked the board to accept $449,600 from HUD for capital projects at the housing authority.
"This year it is $30,000 higher than what we usually get because we are high performers," she said.
She said the money will go towards elevator improvements.
"It’s great because many agencies can’t commit this much money towards elevators," she said. "And ours are like 50 years old."
Thursday was the first time the five-person board had been able to meet in months because of a lack of quorum. Members Colton Andrews and Patricia Wol, who had been appointed by the governor just this past January, left the board and Christopher Tremblay had been participating remotely. Colin Todd, taking Andrews' place as the union representative, was confirmed to the board at Tuesday's City Council. Both he and Tremblay attended Thursday's meeting with Chairman James "Matt" Neville and Michelle Martinez.
Editor's note: additional information on the board of commissioners added at 4:50 p.m. on Monday.
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