BATH — The communities of Bath and West Bath will receive a $1.7 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration to help fund expansion of the Wing Farm Business Park, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced Wednesday.
Of this money, $300,000 will go toward the second phase of Wing Farm, situated in Bath and scheduled to be shovel-ready by this fall. The rest will go toward the third phase, to be built in West Bath.
“We’re very grateful for the award from the EDA,” Bath City Manager Bill Giroux said. “They’ve been great to work with. I especially want to thank Sen. (Susan) Collins and Sen. (Olympia) Snowe for their help on this.”
“We are very pleased that the EDA is investing in this vital project,” said Collins and Snowe, both R-Maine, in a joint statement. “Wing Farm Business Park is both promising and forward-looking. It will create additional space for businesses and help drive economic growth in the region. We have strongly supported this project from its inception and will continue to support initiatives that help to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station.”
The second and third phases of Wing Farm combined are expected to create 300 jobs. The first phase created about 150 jobs.
While Bath could complete the second phase without the EDA grant, doing so would be a stretch, Bath Assessor and Assistant City Manager Paul Mateosian said last month.
Phase two includes 27 acres and is designed for six lots, which are intended to house light manufacturing or professional offices.
A bond of $2 million has been issued for that phase, which funded purchase of the property and will pay for the infrastructure necessary to prepare the site for new business. The bond will be paid back through revenues from the Wing Farm/Bath Iron Works tax increment financing district.
“The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s competitiveness,” Locke said. “This grant will put people to work and boost private investment by building the infrastructure needed to expand the business park, provide space for business growth and develop the region’s industrial clusters.”
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.