Litchfield News

Selectmen view housing plan for old Bantam school (12-06-17)

Litchfield’s Board of Selectmen and Bantam’s Board of Warden and Burgesses learned Tuesday that the former Bantam School is a suitable location for affordable housing.
Housing Enterprises Inc. studied the 62-year-old Bantam building and has determined that it would be an appropriate site for 26 units of affordable housing. The company’s president, David Berto, presented the plan to the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday.
Berto was joined at the selectmen’s meeting by architect Bill Crosskey. Their services are being funded by the selectmen and the Borough of Bantam’s Board of Warden and Burgesses.
The plan Berto presented shows 14 units of affordable housing in the former school and 12 standalone units of housing on the grounds of the 10.5-acre property.
Ideally, the plan would be implemented by the Litchfield Housing Trust after the town turns the property over to the trust, a move that would require voter approval.
Housing Enterprises Inc. helps nonprofit organizations like the Litchfield Housing Trust plan affordable housing projects. The housing trust would be the developer of the Bantam property using grants from federal and other sources.
Selectmen also received the results of a Phase 2 environmental study of the Bantam property done by Eagle Environmental of Terryville.
Eagle Environmental representative Jeffrey Duigou in his report said it would cost the town an estimated $203,354 to remove asbestos and other hazardous materials found in the building and an estimated $90,000 to remove petroleum that leaked from underground fuel storage tanks that were located on the property.
Selectmen affirmed their commitment to keeping the Bantam post office in the old school and keeping its gym available for Parks and Recreation Department activities.
The process of creating a final plan for the property and securing grants could take up to two years, according to Berto.