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Fort Kent, local businesses will benefit from grant awards

FORT KENT, Maine — The town of Fort Kent and multiple local businesses will benefit from $184,000 in Community Development Block Grants. 

 

Fort Kent Director of Planning and Economic Development Steve Pelletier successfully applied for the funding

“The town of Fort Kent has a very, very good rapport with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, with program managers there and the director and we’ve been quite successful over the last 20 years,” Pelletier said. “Without these funds, these projects will not happen.

“Business owners have a hard enough time to make payroll and keep their businesses going let alone do improvements to storefronts and businesses. We’re very thankful to be able to apply for and receive these funds,”  he said.

Bouchard Family Farms in Fort Kent will receive a $50,000 Micro-Enterprise grant to purchase a new combine and to fund a marketing plan. The Bouchard Family Farm has been known since the 1980s for its ready-to-make mix for ployes, a traditional Acadian buckwheat pancake. The family business has expanded to include not only a variety of produce, but also all natural beef, plus produce, local honey and maple products, various crafts and artwork.

“It takes it all to make it work,” Janice Bouchard said.

Park Circle Village, a senior housing facility maintained by St. John Valley Realty Co., will receive a $34,000 Housing Assistance Grant to replace heating boilers. The four cast iron boilers heat 25 residential units that house mostly low-to-moderate income tenants.  

Five area businesses and the town of Fort Kent will receive a combined $100,000 in Community Enterprise Grant funding. 

— Sugar Shack Rentals will receive $25,000 for a new roof. 

— M&S Realty will receive $9,825 for roof repairs and façade work. 

— Bogan Books will receive $825 for a new façade sign. 

— Donna Roy, owner of a Main Street building that houses Hope for Healing, will receive $16,500 for exterior and façade improvements . 

— Crossings will receive $25,000 for façade and roof improvements.

— The town of Fort Kent will receive $22,850 to install two sets of flashing crosswalk pedestrian signs and to repaint decorative street lights in town.

Pelletier said he anticipates the grant monies will become available sometime this fall.

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