Sharon Housing Trust urges action on 99 North Main

SHARON — Facing a deadline just a week away, the Board of Selectmen agreed unanimously at their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 23, to draft and sign a letter of intent to be provided to the Sharon Housing Trust.

The letter of intent is a first step in the process of applying for a state CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) to support the costs of renovating the former Community Center building, converting it into 4 affordable housing units.

Also discussed was the “Option to Lease” agreement that is now in final stages of review by attorneys for the town and the housing trust. The agreement would establish a 99-year lease for the 99 North Main Street property.

“We want to get this done, but there is a process,” said selectman John Brett, recognizing the pressure of the deadline.

“The CDBG grant is not dependent on the lease option,” said Bob Whelan, housing trust board member, stressing that the timing is critical.

“We have only a week before the CDBG deadline,” Whelan said, asking for a way to expedite the process. He pointed out that if the deadline passes, then there would be a year’s wait for the next grant application cycle to begin.

First Selectman Casey Flanagan agreed that a special meeting within days could occur.

“We want to support moderate income housing,” Flanagan said, noting however that transparency within the process is important. He noted that the lease agreement contains significant changes and that the selectmen need to honor their commitment to the Board of Finance regarding the entering of significant agreements.

“I trust the process, even if it takes another week,” Brett said.

Annual meeting

In other action, the selectmen scheduled the date of the annual town meeting for Friday, May 10, to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

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