WILTON — Selectpersons agreed Tuesday to help two growing businesses apply for Community Development Block Grants.

Tim Lovett of Maine Made Furniture Co. in the Western Maine Development Corp. complex at 128 Weld Road, and Nathan Carrier of Carrier Welding Fabrication, 469 Depot St., are seeking the town’s support.

A letter of intent to apply for the grants must be submitted by March 1.

Lovett moved Lovett Woodworks from Portland to Wilton late last summer. He bought Maine Made Furniture in Rumford with the intention of merging the companies and setting up shop in the former G.H. Bass shoe factory.

The company employs 10 people, Lovett said, and he wants to have 18 by the end of the year.

The block grant program requires creation of permanent jobs, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

“I want to fill the entire room with employees and furniture,” Lovett said of the 17,000-square-foot space.

Eventually, a showroom for the custom-made furniture will be created, he said. About 1,000 pieces of furniture are being manufactured for Sunday River Ski Area in Newry, and other pieces are going to Chilton Furniture in Scarborough, Lovett said.

He is working to create more sales outlets and improve the company website to allow customized orders, he said.

Funds under a CDBG Workplace Development Grant are used specifically for training and cross-training employees, he said.

Lovett said he needs a highly skilled workforce.

The town becomes the applicant, but no matching funds are required, said Ted Johnston, a consultant working with Lovett.

The only cost to the town is the time to file paperwork, he said.

Much of the information is already compiled, Irish said.

After filing the letter of intent, notice is given within a couple of weeks on whether the town can apply, she said.

Carrier bought and moved into the space on Depot Street late last summer to expand his welding business. Plans include constructing a 60- by 50-foot building for painting, and finishing renovations to the existing building, he said.

Much of his welding-fabrication work is done on the road and that will continue. However, he wants to develop a stable home base to help support the outside work, he said after the meeting.

Carrier is seeking $240,000 in grants and $270,000 in loans to finance the three-phase upgrade.  

“It is a lot of work and a lot of money,” he said.

He is working with Bangor Savings Bank to acquire loans, which will also provide the matching funds he needs, Irish said. 

Carrier must create eight jobs. He also is responsible for conducting an environmental study.

A public hearing, which the town pays for, and approval of the town’s participation as administrator of the grant will go before voters at town meeting, Irish said.

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Town of Wilton

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