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February 13, 2019

Houlton wins $1.6M grant for food-processing site that will serve research labs

Courtesy / The Jackson Laboratory
Courtesy / The Jackson Laboratory
Mice produced by The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor are used for scientific research worldwide. The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.6 million grant to the Southern Aroostook Development Corp. of Houlton to help build an industrial building that will make laboratory research mouse feed.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.6 million grant to the Southern Aroostook Development Corp. of Houlton. The money will be used to help build an industrial building that will house a manufacturing food-processing plant that will produce dietetically specific laboratory research mouse feed.

According to a Feb. 12 EDA news release, the project is expected to create 17 new jobs and generate $4 million in private investment.

The project will support construction of the 12,000-square-foot Murine Food Production Facility, which is expected to manufacture four million pounds of laboratory research food annually for large research laboratories in Maine and California. One customer is expected to be Jackson Laboratory's new mouse production facility in Ellsworth.

The project was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the Southern Aroostook Development Corp. EDA funds the Southern Aroostook Development Corporation to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The grant follows on the heels of a state Community Development Block Grant of a $275,000, awarded to the town of Houlton last October to help fund construction of the animal food facility at Houlton Industrial Park. The plant will be on five acres at the industrial park, near Houlton International Airport.

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