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Carthage Braman manufacturing site to become housing complex

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CARTHAGE — With approvals from the Planning Board and a local bank ready to donate funding, development of the former Braman Manufacturing property is moving forward, with groundbreaking set for May 8.

Carthage Savings and Loan Association has committed to donating funds to the Thousand Islands Area Habit for Humanity’s proposed building on the former broom factory location. The bank will donate $50,000 toward Braman’s Block, between Alexandria Street and Boyd Road. What’s more, the bank will match the next $25,000 raised by Habitat. The project is expected to build five or six homes on the property donated by the Carthage Industrial Development Corp.

“It takes care of some of the blight,” Thomas H. Piche, CEO and president of Carthage Federal Savings and Loan, said of the planned housing development. “Habitat is a good organization. We are tied to housing with mortgages. This should set Habitat for long prosperity in the north country beyond these six homes.”

Lynn K. Morgan, executive director of Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity, was thankful for the donation.

“It’s a wonderful commitment from a hometown bank toward a project that aims to improve the Carthage community,” Ms. Morgan said in a prepared statement.

Last week the River Area Council of Governments Zoning Board of Appeals approved an application for an area variance for property on Alexandria Street submitted by the Carthage Industrial Development Corp. The lot width is only 66 feet, and zoning requires 80. The board also declared that granting the variance would not create a negative environmental impact.

The following night, the village Planning Board approved the subdivision of the parcel. The 3.75-acre parcel on Alexandria Street was rezoned to R-3 last year to facilitate use of the lots by Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat works with low-income homeowner candidates to build houses with no-interest mortgages or innovative financing methods. The mission of the local organization, founded in 1994, is to “eliminate poverty housing in the Thousand Islands area” and to help move people from inadequate or unsafe conditions.

Habitat uses a volunteer workforce to help families in building “a simple, decent home.”

Anyone interested in partnering with Habitat for a home on the property, or in volunteering, can call 785-0308 or visit the website at www.tiahabitat.org.

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