Front Street Shipyard and the City of Belfast are working together to obtain funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Program to make improvements to the adjacent Belfast Boatyard waterfront facility, which the shipyard recently acquired.
If awarded, the $200,000 grant will allow Front Street Shipyard to purchase a 30-ton capacity crane that would be primarily used for removing masts, to construct a structural concrete pad to support this new crane, to purchase a new custom-heated paint booth, and to relocate and make improvements to the former Belfast Boatyard office building.
According to Front Street Shipyard’s President, JB Turner, “The completion of this project will allow Front Street Shipyard to be a global competitor for servicing and refitting larger yachts, and what better destination for them than beautiful Penobscot Bay. We welcome the chance to work with the City of Belfast again, and the residents who have been so supportive of us during the past year.”
“The City of Belfast is very pleased to be able to continue our partnership with Front Street Shipyard by assisting them in securing this very necessary funding,” stated Belfast Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge. “This is a very worthwhile project that will allow Front Street Shipyard to continue its amazing growth and to provide more quality jobs along Belfast’s working waterfront.”
Front Street Shipyard will be matching the grant with at least $200,000 of its own funds. When this project is completed, Front Street Shipyard expects to create 10 new full-time positions, in addition to the 85 it currently has. 51% of these 10 new jobs will be required to be taken by persons of low and moderate income (as defined by the office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)).
The CDBG program’s primary objective is to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income.
As part of the citizen participation process for this grant application, the City of Belfast will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, September 4th at 7:00 PM, prior to its regular City Council meeting. A decision on the grant in expected in mid-to-late October, with construction to begin soon after, if it is awarded.