Preston hopes for grant to fix up senior housing complex

Preston - Town officials hope to obtain a federal Small Cities Community Development Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund several major upgrades to the 40-unit senior housing complex at Lincoln Park.

Preston is eligible to apply for up to $800,000 in the coming fiscal year. Preston Housing Authority Chairman John Harris said the authority and a grant writer are working out the final cost estimates before submitting the application on April 1.

The top priority, Harris said, is to renovate 38 of the complex's 40 bathrooms. Two bathrooms already were renovated and made handicapped accessible. Renovations would replace bathtubs with shower stalls and replace sinks, toilets and floors.

The authority also hopes to upgrade the emergency alarm system, which like the bathrooms dates back to the original construction in the 1970s. All units have pull cord alarms in the bathrooms and bedrooms, but Harris said there have been problems with the system. The authority is considering either wired or wireless new systems.

Each unit has two entrance doors that also need to be replaced with more energy-efficient doors.

The final project would be to install a new liner in the Lincoln Park water tank, which is mostly underground to protect the tank from corrosion.

"A liner costs $18,000, and replacing the tank is $65,000," Harris said.

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