THOMASTON — Matt Graham, chief operating officer of Lyman-Morse, spoke passionately in favor of workforce housing articles in an upcoming Thomaston vote.

Graham called the housing shortage an “existential threat.” He said his company had lost many potential workers because there was no housing available, and he hoped the voters would pass these items.

Thomaston presented the workforce housing project to voters May 25. The project involves three articles in the upcoming June 15 Town Meeting.

Pollution Control Superintendent John Fancy presented an overview of the workforce housing items at the hearing. The lack of housing is an issue everywhere in the country, Fancy said. It was affecting all businesses and all people.

“This is a Thomaston problem,” Fancy said.

The largest employers in town, Lyman-Morse and Dragon Cement, could not attract employees because potential employees could not find housing, he said. Dragon currently has nine job openings they cannot fill, while Lyman Morse reported they had employees sleeping in vehicles last year because there was no housing available.

Fancy said Thomaston was in a unique position to solve this problem and create more housing for almost no cost to the town.

The entire project relies on voter approval, he said. There are three items on the open town meeting regarding the project, and he hoped the voters would approve them.

The first item is the land swap with George C. Hall & Sons, which is article 5. This item would allow the town to exchange 7 acres of land owned by the town for 30 acres owned by the company.

Fancy said George C. Hall & Sons would receive better access to the quarry in the swap.

The next voter item is changes to the Thomaston land use ordinance. These allow a change in zoning, which would allow greater housing density in the area.

The final item for the housing project, Fancy said, authorizes the Thomaston Select Board to sell lots from within the land received from George C. Hall and Sons Inc, for workforce housing. This is article 6.

All the articles will be voted on at Thomaston’s open town meeting Wednesday, June 15 at 6 p.m.

Andrew Hedrich of Gartley and Dorsky presented the initial plans. He said these were for phase one, and did not involve the town building any infrastructure. Hendrick said eventually the town would have to build a small road for another phase.

Hedrich said the plans included four housing units per acre and were what he called a “clustered development area.”

Merritt Carey of Maine Working Homes, LLC also spoke about the project. She said the organization was very excited to work with the town on this housing project, and showed some sample designs for homes.

Carey said her organization recently completed a successful workforce housing project in South Thomaston.

Maine Working Homes, LLC is very dedicated to finding homes for working Mainers like nurses and teachers, she said.

She said there would be covenants on the deeds that would keep the homes accessible for workforce housing, and the organization would make sure the homes fit with Thomaston’s historic building style.

A Thomaston resident reported an error in an article during the public comment portion.

Todd Gundlach said information on a warrant article was incorrect, and he had contacted the Secretary of the State about the matter.

“Article 30 is incorrect,” Gundlach said. “They have the wrong map number.”

Gundlach also accused the warrant article of being illegal “targeted zoning,” and said the lots were not actually zoned how the article claimed.

Hedrich said he would check that his information was accurate as to the map number. He also shared the zoning map for the area. He said the map indicated all the lots were R3.

Town Clerk Melissa Stevens said she spoke to Gundlach after the meeting and was going to get him in touch with town officials. “We want to get to the bottom of this,” Stevens said.

Town Assessor’s Agent Dave Martucci confirmed the article had a typo in a May 26 interview, but said it was “not a big deal” and easily fixed since it is for an open town meeting. Such a correction would be more difficult if it were on a ballot.

The correct map number for the article is 402, Martucci said. The warrant article currently lists map number 403.

Martucci added that any residents who find an error or a typo in a warrant article should let the town office know right away.

A video recording of the meeting is available at townhallstreams.com/towns/thomaston_me.

A slide depicting a sample of possible workforce housing from the Thomaston information night May 25.