Franklin Countys First News

Farmington Board of Selectmen approve CDBG applications

FARMINGTON - The Board of Selectmen approved several Community Development Block Grant applications as well as an amendment to the town's Revolving Loan Fund management plan at a meeting on Tuesday evening. The meeting was live streamed to meet the requirements of the public hearing.

Three CDBG applications were approved to address business improvements and expansions: a $250,000 request from Franklin Printing to expand production ability with equipment and space; $75,000 for Heartfelt Cookies for new machinery and advertising; and funding for a new digital sign at Mosher's Seafood. A fourth CDBG request in the amount of $500,000 was approved for Housing Assistance to construct 25 new low to moderate income units for the elderly and/or disabled persons.

A final public hearing was held to consider an amending the management process of the town's Revolving Loan Fund. The loan is designed to promote economic growth in Farmington by financing projects relating to issues such as job creation, business expansion and utilization of vacant or under-utilized buildings. The loan has a fixed interest rate of five percent, except for facade improvement loans which have a zero percent interest rate. Loans do not exceed $25,000 and payments are made monthly over no more than 10 years.

A board of five people oversee applications for the revolving loan. The amendment allows the Finance Director to have the authority with approval of the Town Manager to adjust loan scheduling with fund recipients on a case by case basis. The amendment was proposed due to the current state-wide emergency status, which will likely put business owners in difficult positions financially. The amendment allows the finance director to work with individuals to meet their needs, such as a deferment of payment or other adjustments.

"It seems like the right thing to do at the right time," Selectman Scott Landry said.

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6 Responses »

  1. Where does this magical grant money come from? For a sign?? What next, toilet paper grants?

  2. Captain,

    You and i and many others know that it comes from the taxpayers. And there seems to be no strings attached
    To it, or very weak strings that mean nothing. For example, a few years ago the town of Wilton was doing a
    Bunch of grants for some new businesses that had moved to town. A large wood furniture company that
    Moved into the Bass Buildings and a family welding business that moved into the former cabinet shop for
    Taylor Made Homes. The grant writing guru stopped by my old run down wood shop and we chatted and he
    Suggested i apply for some free money as well. Wilton was deemed to be a "blighted community" several
    Years back, so i was offered the opportunity to do some cosmetic structural repairs so that my 100 year old
    Mill would look nicer. I was interested and looked into the process. Wow!!!! First and most important thing
    I needed was a professional business plan!!! I had to prove that i had a good long range plan to survive and
    Run a wood working business. When i told them that i had purchased a bankrupt wood business at auction
    In 2001 and slowly transformed it into a thriving little mill with 6 employees, i was told not good enough. I
    Needed that professionally drafted business plan. So i gave up on the free money deal. However, the wood
    Furniture business and the welding business jumped thru those many hoops and they both got about $300k
    Of our money. Not sure what the wood furniture business did with their money, but the Carrier welding folks
    Did alot of remodeling of that building across the street. They must have spent $40k on the front office alone.
    I walked in and thought i was in a fancy law firm in Portland, it smelled like cinnamon muffins cooking in the stove inside. Everything was shiny new and very high end fixtures and trim. And they bought some very
    Expensive equipment. Nice!! About 2 years later, both businesses are gone and it appears that no one must
    Repay that money. The Carrier building is for sale and the expensive welding equipment was sold too. I
    called the town office myself and asked if the Carrier folks get to keep all proceeds of the sales or will they
    Pay back the grant money. The nice lady who spoke to me said she didn't have any idea about that money.
    So much for those glorified professional business plans that are required to get the free money. Hmmm???
    BTW, if anyone associated with these grants want to let me know what happened to our money on these two
    Deals, please write in and explain so that we all will know. I am especially interested in the demise of their
    Business plan....what the heck happened man????

  3. Whoops,

    I used improper terminology at the end. Let me please replace that improper word with the politically
    Correct term. Please delete "man" and replace with "person". Thank you

  4. Oh Crap, ANOTHER digital sign to blight the highway and district drivers! There ought to be an ordinance against them, NOT taxpayer money to erect them!!!!

  5. I meant another Digital Sign to DISTRACT DRIVERS not 'district' drivers. I regret the error, as I will also regret the sign for years to come.

  6. Thank you for investing in the business!