FARMINGTON — Construction is underway for Brookside Village Apartments, a $3.2 million low-income senior housing project expected to be completed by May 2014.

The complex is intended for people with low incomes who have disabilities or are 62 and older.

Developer Byron Davis said Auburn-based H.E. Callahan Construction Co. won the contract, but rain has delayed construction since the groundbreaking ceremony June 6. Davis is working on the project with Bill Marceau as Farmington Land LLC.

The first phase of construction includes installing geothermal wells and building Willow Springs Drive to connect the apartments to Fairbanks Road. Davis said E.L. Vining and Son will be installing the sewer line, which was contracted out separately.

He said the complex will not be taking applications for the apartments until a few months before the project is completed.

Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser said the town is excited about getting a new housing project to address the needs of the county’s aging population. In Franklin County, 17.2 percent of the population is 65 or older, according to census data.

“We’re really pleased. It’s the first elderly housing built in town in decades,” he said.

He said that the property at 247 Fairbanks Road is being built where there was once an old mill and that the town is happy the land is now cleaned up and being developed.

Kaiser said the property will be hooked to Central Maine Power Co. service but is considered energy-independent because it will at times use more power than it produces and at other times produce more power than it needs.

This building will have a net-zero carbon footprint, a term that means its net effect on greenhouse gas emissions is zero. The plan calls for 228 solar panels to cover the roof, providing electricity for the complex, and the building will be heated by a geothermal system.

Emily Cannon, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, said in a news release that the program is subsidizing the project with a $1 million rural rental housing loan and will provide ongoing rental assistance to future residents.

The project also is being funded by low-income housing tax credits and Maine Housing.

Pinkham and Greer Consulting Engineers, in Portland, will build the infrastructure, which includes utilities and extending the road to the apartments. Contracting for the infrastructure work is being done separately and funded by a grant from the town.

The 32-unit housing project was cleared by the Farmington Village Corp., the local public water authority, after the town expressed concern that runoff from the apartment complex could contaminate Farmington’s water supply in the wellhead protection zone.

As a safety measure, the developers agreed to build a monitoring well to test quarterly for pollutants at the site, where a mill once stood.

Kaitlin Schroeder— 861-9252
[email protected]

 

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