December 13, 2018
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Maine fish research firm seeks state aid for move to former Navy mess hall

Wendy Watkins | BDN
Wendy Watkins | BDN
Kennebec River Biosciences officials hope to relocate the company from Richmond to Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, seen here in a 2012 photo illustration.

A Richmond biosciences company seeks $400,000 in state economic development funds to allow it to expand and relocate to Brunswick Landing, with a pledge to nearly double its workforce.

Kennebec River Biosciences on Monday will ask the Brunswick Town Council to endorse an application for a $400,000 Community Block Development Grant. In addition to that funding, the company plans to invest $450,000 to renovate the mess hall building at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station and hire 14 new employees, Brunswick Economic Development Director Linda Smith wrote in a Feb. 9 memo to the Brunswick Town Council.

KRB would renovate and then move into the 9,500-square-foot building at 237 Neptune Drive under a lease-to-own arrangement with the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Seth Berry, vice president of KRB, said Friday. Berry is a Democrat who represents Richmond, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham in the Maine House of Representatives.

“We’ve seen terrific growth in the last couple of years, especially, and we are quickly running out of space in the current location, despite an expansion two years ago [and] a new manufacturing facility,” Berry said. “It’s a very exciting time.”

Founded in 1996, Kennebec River Biosciences provides comprehensive testing and health services to farms, businesses, government agencies and scientific research institutions involved with aquatic species. Berry said the company now has customers on six continents and works with hundreds of different species of shellfish and finfish.

According to the application, KRB would create the equivalent of 14 full-time jobs in the next year, including positions that pay $18 to $36 per hour.

“We’re feeling very optimistic about the future, and we are very excited about the potential of a partnership with the town of Brunswick and [Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority],” Berry said.

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