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Preston - The town plans to apply for an $800,000 federal community development block grant for several proposed upgrades to the 40-unit Lincoln Park elderly housing complex, including installing a natural gas-powered emergency generator.
Other priorities discussed during a public hearing Thursday on the CDBG grant request included replacing exterior doors, upgrading bathrooms and replacing the fire alarm system for the complex.
Fran Minor, municipal agent for the elderly, said the doors and bathrooms date back to when the complex was built in 1976. The fire alarm system is a combination of old and new systems that have not worked properly together, she said.
Minor said the generator would be the top priority. The complex has a propane-fired generator that provides power only to the community center at the complex. Lincoln Park lost power for five days following Hurricane Sandy at the end of October.
The generator provided power for meals, water and washers and driers for residents, First Selectman Robert Congdon said. The new generator could provide power to the entire complex, Congdon said.
In response to a question from resident Andrew Bilodeau about what the town would do with the existing generator, Congdon proposed keeping the unit for the community center for times when the power is expected to be out for only a short time during warm weather.