Voters to weigh in on funds for roof, housing

Oct 19, 2017

A couple requests from the Community Preservation Committee appear on the Town Meeting agenda, asking for Town Hall roof repairs and funds to build affordable housing in town.

Each year, the Community Preservation Committee allocates money to projects through the Community Preservation Act in four categories: open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. The money is raised through a surcharge on property tax bills. The state then matches a percentage of the town-raised money. Funds must be approved at Town Meeting.

Voters will be asked to appropriate up to $120,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to the restoration of the rubber roof on the auditorium of the Wareham Town Hall.

This money would be given as a grant to the Wareham Municipal Maintenance Department. Committee Co-chair Sandy Slavin said the roof has to be repaired before any work can be done on the interior of Town Hall. The roof is leaking and pieces of plaster are falling from the roof, she said.

Recently, the slate roof on Town Hall was repaired, so now it’s time to fix the rubber roof on the auditorium.

“You have to make everything water tight, then you can work on restoration on the inside,” Slavin said.

Voters will also be asked to give up to $100,000 to the construction of a new affordable housing project.

The four-bedroom house will be located at 165 Great Neck Road. It is part of the Latham Centers’ affordable housing project, which already has a house in Wareham on Peter Cooper Drive. Latham Centers provides housing for adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder.

Another Community Preservation request, if approved, would give a grant to the Residential Rehabilitation Housing Inc. to partially cover the cost of building the house.

“It will assist them and indicate the town is supportive of the project,” Slavin said.

Though the house will only accommodate four people, Slavin said it could boost the town in other ways. It will bring employment opportunities since people will have to help at the house.

“Friends and relatives come into town and stay, which produces some type of income for rentals and restaurants,” Slavin said. “It can provide supplemental income in addition to having four more units listed as affordable housing.”