ADAMS — Town meeting delegates on Tuesday approved a plan to sell the former Youth Center building and property to a local developer who will restore the building and construct another on the site to provide new housing in town.
During the annual town meeting in the former middle school, which ran just under an hour, delegates voted overwhelmingly to accept the $25,000 bid for the sale.
The former Youth Center, which has been vacant since 2019, sits on about 5.7 acres near the downtown on East Street. Built as a dormitory for local nuns in the 1920s, it also housed the Adams Council on Aging for a time.
The building is in a deteriorated state, but construction contractor Robert Hinton of Adams — the buyer and only bidder — said he will restore the historic building and install eight residential units in the property as the first of a three-part process.
In phase two of the project, he will construct another building with about 20 units, with four of them required to be affordable units and the rest market-rate housing. Phase three would be the construction of a day care on the property.
Select Board Chairman John Duval said the board did not want the town to have to pick up the cost of demolishing the building, and members were glad to hear that Hinton would restore it instead. Town Administrator Jay Green said the sale would immediately generate more property taxes for the town coffers, which would increase as the improvements are built there.
“In seeing they were going to invest millions on that project, we thought the $25,000 was acceptable,” he said.
One of the building’s neighbors expressed concern about the affordable units, wondering if Section 8 vouchers would be accepted there.
Green said the project would be subsidized by state funding, not the renters.
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Hinton noted that aside from the four affordable units, the rest would be “luxury, high-end units.”
In other business, town meeting delegates approved spending $6.3 million for its share of the Hoosac Valley Regional School District budget, and $9.3 million for the town’s operating budget.