St. John Valley

Six residents to receive $130,000 in grant money to replace septic systems

FORT KENT, Maine — Five Fort Kent residents and one Frenchville resident will receive a total of $130,000 in grant money between them to help replace malfunctioning septic systems on their properties. 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection oversees the 2020 Small Community Grant Program that approved the funds to replace the residential septic tanks. Under the grant, the malfunctioning septic tanks must be polluting a waterbody or causing a public nuisance.

The grant money is allocated in percentages based on the residents’ financial need as determined by a sliding scale. Cindy Bouley, administrative assistant for the Fort Kent Office of Planning and Economic Development, applied for the grants on behalf of the residents. 

In January, the towns of Frenchville and Fort Kent signed an interlocal agreement  in which Fort Kent would assist Frenchville with economic development grants. The towns decided it would be better to work together and allow Fort Kent to provide a community development director to assist with related work, including dealing with grants. 

Since that time, Bouley has also successfully applied for a $50,000 Micro Enterprise Grant from the Community Development Block Grant Program to help

Tyra’s Pooch Parlor of Frenchville expand retail space and add a dog park to the business. 

The septic system projects will soon go out to bid, and Bouley said she hopes that some of the projects will get underway this fall, although some will likely only take place in the spring of 2021. 

“Our construction season is very limited up here so we will do what we can this year and go from there,” Bouley said. 

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