Rockland Marine has been awarded $351,956 for new equipment through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Shipyard Grant Program.

Jim Corcoran, president of the south-end shipyard and custom metal fabrication business, said the funding will go toward buying a high-pressure water blast system to replace the current sandblaster.

The water system became an option, Corcoran said, only after Rockland Marine recently rebuilt one of its rail systems for hauling out large vessels.

The company also plans to buy two telescoping boom lifts and two forklift trucks. These will replace rentals, which Corcoran said Rockland Marine increasingly used to compete with other shipyards.

“That equipment is much needed, and I’m very appreciative that they could see that in our grant proposal,” he said.

Last year, two midcoast businesses were the only Maine recipients of grants from the Small Shipyard program:

Washburn & Doughty Associates, a West Boothbay yard that builds metal-hulled boats, was awarded $618,750 for new robotic welding machines and a CNC (computer-controlled) lathe; Front Street Shipyard in Belfast was awarded $667,028 toward the purchase of a $1 million water-jet cutting machine. A representative of the shipyard on June 14 said the company is still lining up the rest of the financing for the machine.

Three Midcoast Businesses Awarded Grants for Solar Panels

Three midcoast businesses are among 12 Maine recipients of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America Program grants to be used to fund new photovoltaic solar arrays: Avena Botanicals of Rockport, $14,385;  Lovers Lane, LLC of Cushing, $20,000; Songbird Farm, LLC of Unity, $4,746. 

EPA OKs $1.3 Million for Midcoast Contaminated Sites

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection on June 5 announced $6 million in funding for contaminated properties in Maine, with $1.3 million coming to the midcoast. The funding is earmarked for brownfields assessment and technical assistance in underserved and economically disadvantaged communities.

Midcoast recipients include: the city of Belfast with a $300,000 grant for a community-wide site assessment; Waterfall Arts in Belfast with a $350,000 cleanup grant; the town of Lincoln with a $350,000 grant for assessment at the Lincoln Pulp & Paper site and a $300,000 grant for a community-wide assessment.