WILLIAMSTOWN -- As the Affordable Housing Com mittee continues to look at the viability of two local properties for housing, one site it doesn't have plans for is the Lehovec property on Main Street.
Catherine Yamamoto, chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Committee, said Monday that the Williamstown Fire District's interest in building a new fire station on the Lehovec property isn't in conflict with the committee's plans to build more affordable housing.
"We aren't considering the Lehovec property. With limited resources, we have to look at town-owned land first because there are no acquisition costs," she said.
The committee continues to remain focused on developing housing at the former town garage site, at 59 Water St., and the Photech property, at 330 Cole Ave., she said.
The Lehovec property, which is at 562-580 Main St., was owned by the late Kurt Lehovec and contains four houses. It was suggested during a Sept. 20 Finance Committee public forum about the plans for a new fire station that the property might be better suited for affordable housing. The suggestion came up as part of a question posed by Finance Com mittee Chairman Charles Fox, in which he asked if the fire district had considered locating a new station on the Photech property.
Fox was then accused by Prudential Committee Chair man John Notsley of having a conflict of interest in the property because he had gone out to talk to Lehovec in
Fox said after the forum that during trips to the West Coast for about the past 10 years, he had visited Lehovec to try to get him to put his land into an affordable housing development named in Lehovec's honor.
"What I offered to Kurt was that I would supervise demolition, design and construction, and I would raise money to facilitate that process," Fox said in an email on Sept. 21.
The goal of the development was to create several groups of duplex or four-unit buildings, with units that would be sold to people at a price they could afford, he said. The complex would also have a museum of Lehovec's scientific papers and life story.
"And from the sale of the units, Kurt himself would reap his profit in the project," he said.