Selectmen approve additional funding for Habitat for Humanity project

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Northborough – Selectmen gave the green light at their June 11 meeting for an additional $50,000 in funding for work relevant to structural, drainage and parking issues associated with the Habitat for Humanity project located at 37-39 Main St. These issues were unanticipated since the beginning of the project in 2015.

Rick Leif, treasurer of the Northborough Affordable Housing Corporation (NAHC), appeared before selectmen with Tim Firment, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Metro West/Greater Worcester, who are partners in this development.

In 2015, Town Meeting appropriated $500,000 to the NAHC to create four affordable dwellings at 33-35 and 37-39 Main St.

“The smaller of the two houses is just about complete and that was the house that the kids from Assabet [Valley Regional Technical High School] did most of the work, plumbing and electrical and carpentry,” Leif said. “The plan is, on June 25, two families that were selected for the home are scheduled to take possession and we are really happy to have come that far.”

The larger house, which is the old Gale General Store, needed a bit more work than originally thought and is anticipated to cost $100,000 over budget.

This additional amount will be split between the NAHC and Habitat. Leif had already gone before the Community Preservation Committee June 7 and received unanimous approval for the additional $50,000 from Community Preservation Act funds, pending approval of the selectmen.

“It seems like a reasonable request for sure, but I’d like to add that a few of us went on a walk-through a couple of months ago when the time capsule was buried which was interesting but what was more interesting was seeing the kids [from Assabet] and how motivated and how happy they looked to be there,” said Selectman Leslie Rutan. “Very impressive building and it’s amazing how much space is in there…so much work and they’ve done a fantastic job.”

The additional funding was approved unanimously.