Plastic building materials to be sold at former car dealership

Thu, 07/06/2023 - 8:45am

    A building formerly used for a car dealership on Route One in Woolwich will soon be turning out building materials made from recycled plastic. Ben Davis told the selectboard Wednesday, July 5 he has leased the building and is going forward with plans to move in. He owns OpBox, a similar manufacturing facility in Nobleboro where he resides. Davis asked for the selectboard’s support in applying for Maine Community Development Block Grant monies.

    EDURA, the product Davis sells, is made predominately from recycled plastic milk containers; it can be used as an alternative to wood, metal, or other building materials. “It won’t ever rot or rust and we can make it in any thickness up to 10 inches thick, or in 4x8-foot sheets to use in place of plywood,” he said, adding he anticipates hiring about 10 employees as assemblers and office staff. After the Woolwich plant gets up and running, Davis said his team will be able to produce 30,000 square feet of product a month. The company will sell commercial and residential, mobile and modular structures along with structural insulated panels.

    Davis received a $250,000 Maine Community Development Block Grant for his Nobleboro facility and intends to apply for similar funds to use in Woolwich. He told selectmen the initial step is for them to sign off on a letter of intent to be followed by an application. Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission assisted him with his Nobleboro application.

    David King Sr., selectboard chairman, reminded Davis Woolwich was in Sagadahoc County. Before going forward, the board wants to hear more about the grant and what the town’s responsibilities are. The board will meet with Davis again on July 19. It would be the town’s first Community Development Block Grant. The building Davis has leased was originally built as a showroom and garage for a car dealership. After the dealership moved, BFC Marine, a boat seller, leased the property followed in 2021 by Carvana, a used car dealership. The property is next door to Kennebec Equipment Rental.

    Davis said he will use the front lot to display demonstration models. “This will expand our business as we get more into residential production.”

    Also on the agenda for July 19 is a special town meeting to consider an $80,000 purchase of a two-acre lot across from the town office. Monies for the purchase will be taken from the undesignated fund balance. The property is being sold by Philip and Marilyn Baker. The selectboard plans to use the lot to provide additional parking for the municipal building and firehouse. It would also eliminate the problem of people parking along the side of Nequasset Road. Mike Field will moderate the meeting that will start at 6 p.m. in the hearing room over the town office.

    The July 5 meeting began on a somber note with King asking for a moment of silence for Lloyd Coombs, aka, “Mr. Woolwich,” who died recently. Coombs was a selectman for many years and also served as town administrator. King said Coombs would be greatly missed.

    Following the meeting the selectboard planned to meet with Fire Chief Shaun Merrill to develop job responsibilities for the new EMS/ambulance director. King said the town office has had five applicants for the job vacated by Brian Carlton June 30. The selectboard has not yet hired a replacement.