FARMINGTON – Michael Monahan of Signworks has been creating signs for area businesses for more than two decades but has never owned the building in which he and his staff labored. That is about to change.

Planning Board members on Monday unanimously approved soil erosion and water management plans for a new use of the building at 680 Farmington Falls Road.

According to Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser, Monahan recently purchased the former 2-acre potato barn from Adrian Harris, who had converted the building to real estate offices. Harris moved his business to Wilton Road, opening the doors for Monahan to own his own facility.

Monahan started Signworks in 1983 in Kingfield, calling the company Kingfield Signs. In 1988, he partnered with Dave Burnell who had a shop in Temple. The two businesses operated out of separate buildings but as a partnership, Monahan said Tuesday. When Burnell retired in 1996, Monahan bought out his partner and moved the business to its current location on Fairbanks Road in Farmington.

The company currently employs five full-time employees and one or two part-timers but, Monahan said, with the new space, he may be able to expand operations.

“Business has been growing steadily,” he said.

He admits that by moving to Farmington Falls Road, the business will lose the exposure it gets on the route to Kingfield and Rangeley, but may gain some from Route 2 traffic. The phone number will remain the same, and with its reputation and solid customer base, Monahan isn’t too worried.

“I’m feeling very optimistic,” he said.

Monahan said he has always been looking for a space to own but has been looking more seriously for the last five years or so. The cost of owning will also be higher but, he said, 20 years down the road, he will own 2 acres on Route 2 that should be worth something.

His new digs will be somewhat larger but will not change his operations much, he said. There will still be woodworking and painting areas. Plans also include adding a large bay door to the building to accommodate painting on vans and cars in the larger garage.

At 55, Monahan said he will probably retire in five to 10 years, but he expects his son, Sam, to take over the business.

Kaiser said Tuesday it is good to see a business move to the location.

“It’s a logical evolution,” he said. The business presented a very good quality plan, he said, more comprehensive than what was required for the review.