Attendees at the September 27 housing committee meeting: (clockwise from left) Dave Cota, recently returned Carrabassett City Manager, Tim Gerencer, Tim Flight, Chris Parks, Lloyd Cuttler, John Beaupre and Mark Green. (Photo by Sue Davis)

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The regional housing committee that Carrabassett selects members of the council formed before the pandemic has kicked into high gear. In late 2021, he contracted a housing study by Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, NY, with offices in Portland.

With a study in hand, the committee created the Workforce Housing Coalition which stretches from New Portlands to the Canadian border and includes Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley, Coplin Plantation, Stratton-Eustis and the contiguous UTs (unincorporated townships). The coalition is working on its application to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, setting up its board of directors/directors and seeking funding. Here is coverage of the two recent committee meetings.

August 30, 2022, meeting of the regional housing committee

ARPA Request Status

Housing Committee Chairman John Beaupre briefed the state committee on the County Commissioners grant application for $308,000 from county ARPA funds. The application was filed while commissioners await final numbers for the prison. Acting Commissioner Bob Carlton is positive about his potential success. Beaupre reported that the county commissioners’ administrative assistant, Amy Bernard, is very positive about the grant.

Alternative financing

Committee member Tim Gerencer recently spoke with a resource person from the Alfond Foundation who expressed interest in the project. Mark Green, acting manager of the town of Carrabassett Valley, which currently provides support to committee staff, also reported that the Genesis Foundation approached him to offer low-interest loans for projects like this. -this. All agreed with Green that the coalition should go further before contacting these sources.

board of directors

The committee shall constitute a board of directors for the Workforce Housing Coalition 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Board members differ slightly from committee members; in addition to representing communities, board members also represent access to money through fundraising skills, capacity and/or private sources, housing expertise, real estate, etc. and skills and knowledge related to the coalition’s mission.

The committee also agreed that the board should have up to nine members. In addition, coalition members must nominate candidates for the board. Each city was approached for recommendations. The committee also agreed that county UTs also needed representation, of which a candidate could come from county commissioners. Committee members will contact people in their region for nominations.

Green reported that the attorneys working on the bylaws for 501(c)(3) have not responded to him and that he is working on the bylaws.

Next steps

As work on the nonprofit progresses, Beaupre suggested the committee align potential projects, from identifying land to figuring out what kind of housing they want so they’re ready to moving full speed ahead into next year. Committee member Barb Larson added that in researching, “the committee should make an effort to choose something that will have the most impact.”

Green said there will be another rules meeting and that Gerencer and his venue committee will refine their list of potential venues.

County Grant Application Progress

Members John Beaupre and Lloyd Cuttler attended the September 20 meeting of county commissioners although the grant was not on the agenda. Being there gave them the opportunity to speak with Amy Bernard, the commissioners’ administrative assistant, and with Susan Pratt, the county’s ARPA administrator.

September 27 Housing Committee Meeting

ARPA Request Status

Having attended the September 20 meeting, Beaupré hopes for an affirmative vote in October. Beaupre and Green will stay in contact with the stewards’ office. It was also suggested that anyone connected to the commissioners speak to them. All agreed that as many people as possible should attend the next Commissioners meeting on October 18th.

Although it may take five to six months for tax-exempt status to be complete, Green and committee member Paul Peck noted that a tax agent, such as in a municipality, could provide the non-profit umbrella needed for committee until coalition statute is in place. . Peck offered to check with the law firm preparing the 501(c)(3) documents to make sure nothing was holding them back.

Regulations and related documents

Green noted two changes to the proposed regulations: insert the correct name, Regional Housing Coalition; increasing the size of the council from nine to 15. Of this number of directors, five would come from the towns and county while all the others would be appointed by the housing committee. Green feared losing the energy of the original group.

The council would be called the Coalition Committee/Council to differentiate it from the original Housing Committee. The committee accepted Green’s suggestion for increasing the size of the council, noting that an executive committee could provide efficiency that could be lost with a larger council.

Green and Speaker Beaupre greeted County Administrator Amy Bernard via zoom. She was there “just to be careful,” she reported.

Site Selection Committee

Tim Gerencer, chair of the site selection committee, reviewed his list with the committee. Peck noted that the Jordan lot at Kingfield continues to rise to the top. Carrabassett has a lot in town, but using it is complicated by access, topography, and legal issues. The change in use would have to be approved by the state legislature.

The committee agreed to have a site visit on Monday 3rd October to visit all sites from Kingfield to Eustis. (See summary report below.)

Bernard added that they could also look at UTs, an added benefit of which would be access to TIF money otherwise limited to UTs, if it is a big enough project and represents economic development. She recommended speaking with Charlie Woodworth (a committee member, but not present at this meeting) who is a director of the Greater Franklin Development Council.

Paid administrator

Newly returned City Manager Dave Cota and Committee Chairman John Beaupre recommended that Mark Green continue as a paid director of the Committee. Green had volunteered his time while acting city manager. He agreed to stay until the first of 2023, while the coalition gets up and gets funds. The committee has seed capital through contributions from member cities which can hold them back to some degree until a grant is received or other help can be found.

Other

ARPA County Administrator Sue Pratt told Cuttler and Beaupre that she would be willing to help the coalition in the future. She noted that there were federal housing funds that could be helpful in the future and she appreciates the coalition’s mission.

After setting the date for the next committee meeting for October 25, the meeting was adjourned

Summary of October 3 site visits

Site selection committee Tim Gerencer and committee members Polly MacMichael, Paul Peck, Chris Parks, Mark Green and Peter Farnsworth met on Monday October 3 to visit five sites in Kingfield, four sites in Carrabassett, one in Wyman and four to Eustis.

For more details, contact Mark Green through the Carrabassett Valley Municipal Office (207) 235-2645 or Tim Gerencer at [email protected]

Kingfield sites included the Jordan lot on Rt. 27 near Dollar General, the former Knapp dealership (not currently for sale), the Governor King house, the Arrowsmith lot across from Gateway Parking, and a lot across from Carrabassett Coffee .

Carrabassett Valley sites included Penobscot Tribal Land behind Ayotte, Public Land on the Outdoor Center Access Road, Caribou Pond Road on Sugarloaf Mt. Corp./Weyerhaeuser Land, and Weyerhaeuser Land Across from the shooting range.

The Wyman Plantation land consisted of Linda Bean property.

Eustis sites included land across from the Stratton Municipal Office, the Old Type Shop in Stratton, Stratton Plaza (not currently for sale), and the Scott Fotter House (not yet on the market).

If the reader is aware of other possible sites between Kingfield and Eustis, please contact Mark Green via the Carrabassett Valley Municipal Office (207) 235-2645 or Tim Gerencer at [email protected]