Two Gardiner businesses, Lost Orchard Brewing Co. and Central Maine Meats, and an arts education center in Sidney will receive a combined $1.04 million in federal grants to help create at least 37 jobs in the communities.

The two communities were part of a group of 13 Maine towns and cities that will receive about $2.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development announced Tuesday. The state DECD administers the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program.

In Gardiner, the announcement of the grants marked the second time this year the city has been awarded Community Development Block Grant money. The Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe, which opened its downtown storefront at the end of last month, found out this spring it would receive a $90,000 grant from the program.

“I think it’s a testament to the quality of entrepreneurs we have in the community,” said Patrick Wright, the city’s economic and community development coordinator.

Meanwhile, Sidney received a grant of $200,000 for the Snow Pond Center for the Arts, which runs the New England Music Camp. John Wiggin, music camp director for the organization, told Sidney residents at Town Meeting in March that the funding will be used for infrastructure improvements, including winterizing the lodge, increased parking, storm water collection, community recreation and watershed improvement.

The funding is being matched by $378,000 from the organization and is expected to lead to nine new jobs, according to the DECD news release.

The two businesses in Gardiner receiving the grants plan to use the funding for expansion or new buildings.

Lost Orchard Brewing Co., a new business hoping to begin making hard cider next month, is opening a tasting room in a former church and will produce most of its cider at a warehouse in South Gardiner. The company will receive $300,000 for the purchase of equipment, inventory and working capital, creating at least 10 jobs, according to the DECD release. The funding is being matched by $444,000 from the company.

Founder David Boucher said he hopes to have the first products, sold under the label Crabby Apple Cider, released by the end of July. The company plans to can most of the cider, sell some in 22-ounce bottles and offer growler fill-ups at its tasting room.

Central Maine Meats, which operates a meat processing center on Brunswick Avenue in Gardiner and is in the process of opening a red meat slaughterhouse at Libby Hill Business Park, will receive $540,000 for equipment and working capital, creating at least 18 jobs, according to the DECD release. The funding is being matched by $960,000 from the company.

The company is already processing pork and beef at the processing plant on Brunswick Avenue, but the grant funding will be used to purchase kitchen equipment to make value-added products such as sausages at the facility along with equipment for the slaughterhouse.

One of the company’s owners, Bill Lovely, who also owns ABJ General Contractor in Gardiner, had opened the processing plant in 2013 with a previous business partner under the name Northeast Meats.

The other owner of Central Maine Meats, Joel Davis, said he sees the grant award as continuing the momentum of the other new food-related businesses in Gardiner being assisted by the grant program. The company’s slaughterhouse will be open by the start of August, he said.

The Central Maine Meats slaughterhouse shares the building with another company, Common Wealth Poultry Co., which slaughters and processes chickens and turkeys for Maine-ly Poultry in Warren.

Both slaughterhouses and the processing facility are inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig

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