PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Acme Monaco, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of orthodontic appliances, sought and received the City Council’s support this week to pursue grants that will help fund an estimated $3 million expansion in the Industrial Park.
“They now have 72 employees on payroll and another eight temps. If successful, this project will create 23 new jobs,” said Larry Clark, executive director of the Presque Isle Industrial Council.
“This is a family-owned business — third generation,” said Clark, speaking on behalf of the firm during a public hearing Monday before the City Council.
“Based in Connecticut, they expanded to Presque Isle in 1989. They started out with 5,400 square feet and over the years have expanded to 11,400 square feet” in two facilities at the Industrial Park, said Clark.
Incorporated in 1947, the firm’s product line of custom springs and miniature ball bearing retainer rings expanded into orthodontics in the 1970s. The firm offers custom guidewires, archwires, medical grade springs, stampings, fourslide parts and wire forms out of manufacturing plants in Presque Isle; New Britain, Connecticut; and Singapore.
Acme Monaco is looking to consolidate the two plants in Presque Isle “into a single facility — our spec building, which is 16,000 square feet. Consolidating the two locations will give them ample space for their needs today, as well as expansion farther down the road,” said Clark.
Work on the building, parking area and other amenities is estimated to cost about $3 million, he said, adding that “in order to be successful, grant money will be needed to complete the project.”
He said Monday’s public hearing was one step in the application process.
“We are here tonight seeking council’s approval to apply for a CDBG grant. We’ve been invited to submit a final application, due April 24. It’s a competitive process, and we’re not guaranteed we’ll get it. We’ve done a lot of groundwork to get to this point,” he said.
Clark said the actual applicant would be the city of Presque Isle, with the grant to be run through the Presque Isle Industrial Council.
“The amount we’re applying for through the CDBG grant is all job-related. It allows up to $30,000 per the number of jobs created — that’s $690,000 from the program at the state level,” said Clark. In addition, Clark said two grants are possible at the federal level. “Through the Economic Development Administration, we could receive about $1.6 million.”
He said he’d heard of another program last week, through the Northern Regional Border Commission, which he’ll be submitting an application for up to $300,000.
“The timing is good. These are all coming about at the same time, with regard to when they have to be in and when they’ll notify us. If we’re successful with the applications, we hope to have final word sometime in July or August on how successful we’ve been with this,” said Clark.
Clark said he was optimistic the project could be under design as early as September of this year.
“That means we could have the project out to bid by January 2016, with occupancy around October 2016,” said Clark.
As part of the application process, he urged those in attendance to sign the attendance sheet and submit their comments.
“You’re not just limited to tonight for questions, later on you can call my office,” said Clark, who can be reached at 764-2542.
Councilors thanked Plant Manager Mark Jarrett, who was in attendance Monday, before unanimously supporting the grant application.