Pemberton bathrooms to be upgraded

The town council Monday unanimously approved $21,850 to renovate bathrooms at the federally subsidized apartments on Pemberton Avenue, which are managed by the Jamestown Housing Authority.

Although the request needed to be approved, the money already was earmarked for the housing authority. In June, the council approved $75,000 for the apartments because they were “in dire need” of an upgraded heating system. The authority used a portion of that money for an engineering study, which allowed the agency to successfully apply for a $1.5 million grant for the heating system.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Jamestown resident, advocated for the emergency grant, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That money has been used to accelerate repairs to the 54-year-old system to ensure that the public housing residents, with the majority being senior citizens on fixed incomes, are not forced out of their homes this winter.

Because of that grant, the agency did not have to use the full appropriation it was given for that project.

“There were plenty of funds remaining from the $75,000 to cover this expense,” Town Administrator Jamie Hainsworth said.

According to Hainsworth, the $21,850 outlay, which will be subsidized by a Community Block Development Grant to renovate the bathrooms, will be used for engineering and oversight.

Built in 1968, Pemberton Apartments is comprised of seven buildings, including six two-story residential buildings and one two-story building that has housing units along with administrative offices, a mechanical closet and community room. The complex is home to 47 public housing units for seniors and income-eligible residents.