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October 3, 2018

Grant will help Houlton start animal-food facility to serve JAX, others

Courtesy / The Jackson Laboratory
Courtesy / The Jackson Laboratory
Mice produced by The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor are used for scientific research worldwide. The town of Houlton has received a $275,000 grant to help fund construction of a 12,000-square-foot animal food facility at Houlton Industrial Park that is expected to serve research organizations such as Jackson Laboratory and its recently opened mouse production facility in Ellsworth, among others.

The town of Houlton has received a $275,000 grant to help fund construction of a 12,000-square-foot animal food facility at Houlton Industrial Park.

The state Community Development Block Grant, accepted Monday, would be combined with nearly $6 million in other planned financing to build a mouse food processing and testing facility leased to Laboratory Feeds of Maine, The County newspaper reported.

The plant, serving research organizations such as Jackson Laboratory and its recently opened mouse production facility in Ellsworth, would be sited on 5 acres at the industrial park, near Houlton International Airport.

The Houlton plant is expected to have 10 full-time employees and to create seven additional jobs.

But first the town must complete the CDBG grant process, which includes environmental site review and final cost estimates and could take three months, an official told the newspaper.

Additional funds must also be secured. They include a potential $1.6 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration, for which the Northern Maine Development Commission applied this summer.

Laboratory Feeds is also expected to apply for a $2.7 million loan from Coastal Enterprises Inc. and to seek $1.3 million in private financing, according to The County.

In July, the project received a $250,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission, a federal-state program that provides funds for economic and community development in rural areas of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

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