ORONO – The old Byers Manufacturing building will be getting a facelift, thanks to a state grant.

The town has received a Micro-Enterprise Assistance Grant Program for $45,000 from the state’s Community Development  Block Grant program. That funding will be used for facade improvements to the Byers building, which is located at 74 Mill Street, in a residential neighborhood.

The town had been asked to apply for the grant on behalf of the owner of the Byers property, KMS Company. The town’s Comprehensive Plan in 2015 singled out this property, which is 150 years old as appropriate for special zoning to enable redevelopment for a new commercial use; CDBG façade grant funds will be used to replace windows and siding on the three sides of the building that are visible from the street.

KMS Company additionally will be investing additionally in a new heating system and energy efficiency improvements as part of this project.

The CDBG program is funded by the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency and administered locally by the State of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The goal for HUD funding is to eliminate slum and blighted conditions in America’s downtowns.


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