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Fort Kent councilors approve $60,000 grant for Deep Gash Trucking

FORT KENT, Maine — A Fort Kent business owner will receive $60,000 in grant money which will help create two full-time jobs. Members of the Fort Kent Town Council voted unanimously at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday to approve a business assistance grant in that amount from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Fort Kent Director of Planning and Economic Development Steve Pelletier wrote the grant which will assist Doug Kelly, owner of Fort Kent-based Deep Gash Trucking, Inc.

The councilors unanimously voted in May to allow Pelletier to seek the grant. The town can only apply for this business assistance grant for one business annually, with no guarantee that the funding will be approved. To better ensure the success of such grant applications on behalf of local businesses, Pelletier developed his own scoring system to determine which local business the town should select each year.

Deep Gash was one of several businesses that applied to the town seeking the grant assistance. The council chose to allow Pelletier to apply on behalf of Deep Gash, noting that the business scored highest under Pelletier’s system.

“The system worked; they were awarded $60,000,” Pelletier said.

Kelly is required to match the grant by also investing $60,000 in his company, and plans to do so by purchasing a new excavator, according to Pelletier. The two new full-time employees he hires must have earned a low- to moderate-income last year according to their income tax returns, per grant requirements.

Deep Gash Trucking is responsible for maintaining 225 miles of logging roads in the northwestern part of the state.

Also at Monday’s meeting, councilors unanimously approved Joseph Bard to a three year term on the Fort Kent planning board.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Fort Kent Town Council will take place on Monday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Fort Kent Municipal Building.

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