PLYMOUTH – Despite a delay due to supply issues, renovations at Gosinski Park are still moving ahead.
Vinnie Klimas, chair of the Plymouth Housing Authority said in April that construction for accessibility improvements at the senior housing units would begin in May. The timetable has now been moved to Aug. 1.
"PAC Group LLC, of Torrington told us that the supplies are harder to get due to covid," said Klimas. "I was told that they sued to be able to get them in a week or two. Now it takes a month. But, the project is still moving forward."
In the meantime, Klimas said, the Plymouth Housing Authority has hired McCabe's Moving, of Southington, to assist residents with moving. The construction will see units renovated in two "clusters" of five units at a time. During this renovation, residents will be temporarily relocated to 12 empty, "idle capacity" units that are maintained for this purpose. Klimas has said that the state will reimburse these costs.
"If people want to pack up on their own, they can do so, but we are also willing to help pack, move and unpack for them," said Klimas.
Gosinski Park was originally built in 1965 and additional units were added in 1968. The project will see six units become fully ADA accessible while the other 54 units will also see “substantial” renovations. Residents can look forward to easier wheelchair access to buildings and easier ability to turn in hallways. The community room will be increased to twice the current size and there will be walk-in tubs and showers and larger kitchen spaces.
"I have spoken to a gentleman who has lived in unit number one for some time and uses a wheelchair to get around," said Klimas. "He is looking forward to being able to turn around easier in the hallways without his wheelchair banging into the walls. Also, previously, he had to remove his bathroom door to be able to get inside with his wheelchair. He will now have a 32 inch door which will let him get in and out with the wheelchair while also having his privacy."
Klimas said that getting to the point where construction is ready to begin on this project took seven-and-a-half years of filling out the required paperwork. There will be a groundbreaking ceremony in the near future to celebrate this effort coming to fruition.
When the project first went out to bid, Klimas said, bids came back “way over budget.” The second time it went out to bid, the lowest bid from PAC Group LLC, of Torrington was still $800,000 over budget due to increased materials costs resulting from the pandemic. However, Klimas said, the state covered the $800,000 to allow the project to move forward.
Klimas said he is grateful to the Housing Authority Board of Directors, former mayor David Merchant, current mayor Joe Kilduff, this town council and the previous town council for their support throughout the project's history. He also thanked Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno for their support at the state level.
The total cost of the project is $5,271,070, which breaks down as follows:
. $2,509,725 from the Department of Housing State Sponsored Housing Portfolio through the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority,
. $2,300,000 in Department of Housing Community Development Block Grant funds through the town of Plymouth
. $100,000 from Town of Plymouth Community Development Block Grant program income
. $50,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the Town of Plymouth
. $278,000 in Department of Housing Predevelopment Loans
. $14,877 in Housing Authority Property Reserves
. $16,663 in Housing Authority Equity funds
. $1,805 in energy rebates.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.