VAN BUREN, Maine – A St. John Valley city needs to maintain its solely grocery retailer and is looking for authorities funds to assist.
Saucier’s Shurfine has a possible purchaser, however city officers are making use of for a $240,000 grant to assist the particular person buy the shop.
At a time when financial uncertainty and rising meals, gasoline and utility prices have strapped each companies and residents, the shop is significant to Van Buren and its surrounding communities, City Supervisor Nancy Troeger mentioned. With out it, space residents haven’t any different choices for contemporary meals. A Neighborhood Growth Block Grant would be the reply.
Simply 5 months in the past, the close by Grand Isle Common Retailer closed on account of provide line points, labor shortages and electrical energy invoice hikes.
Throughout a city council assembly on June 14, Van Buren officers and residents mentioned making use of for a $240,000 Neighborhood Growth Block Grant to help within the retailer’s buy and preserve it working.
The shop has provided the city and surrounding communities all through the pandemic, and is the one grocery retailer inside miles the place residents from Grand Isle to Hamlin and Saint-Leonard, New Brunswick, should buy nutritious contemporary produce, meat, eggs and dairy. Different companies like Greenback Common and Household Greenback solely have non-perishable, frozen and pre-packaged meals, Troeger mentioned.
“Saucier’s is likely one of the most vital companies in the neighborhood. We won’t let it fail,” City councilor Peter Madore mentioned at Tuesday’s assembly.
The block grant program helps neighborhood improvement actions in an effort to construct stronger and extra resilient communities by means of addressing infrastructure wants, financial improvement tasks, public services set up, neighborhood facilities and different tasks, in line with the U.S. Division of Housing and City Growth.
The grants additionally help for-profit companies that could be missing funds, Troeger mentioned. Although a block grant has limitations, on this case the funds can be utilized to cowl crucial working capital equivalent to utilities, gear and worker salaries.
“The funds could be requested for every job created or retained,” Troeger mentioned. “For every job created or retained, one can ask for $30,000 to help the enterprise, after which the enterprise should additionally match with precise money or in-kind $30,000.”
With eight jobs retained, the overall requested quantity for Saucier’s Shurfine comes out to $240,000, Troeger mentioned. Throughout June 14’s council assembly, Troeger instructed neighborhood members they will help with the applying course of by submitting signatures to emphasize Van Buren’s want for the grocery retailer.
Whereas the grant software is ready to be submitted July 5, it’s unclear if signatures are being collected.
The enterprise’ present homeowners declined to remark.