Mathews Brothers seeking grant to produce new window technology

By Ben Holbrook | Jan 24, 2013

Belfast — Mathews Brothers is seeking a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant to expand its operations in order to produce “ground-breaking” window technology.

Majority owner and operator Scott Hawthorne explained to Belfast city councilors that Mathews Brothers was chosen as one of only four companies in the United States to produce the product. Hawthorne was vague as to what the technology is, because of a non-disclosure agreement.

Hawthorne told The Republican Journal during a telephone interview Thursday, Jan. 17, that Japan and Germany have a manufacturer producing window technology similar to what Mathews Brothers is looking at producing.

“This will change the look and feel of windows and doors,” Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne declined to reveal the name of the company Mathews Brothers is working with, except to say it’s a national glass manufacturer.

The grant funding would pay for capital equipment and job training expenses. Hawthorne said at least 10 jobs would be created as a result of the funding. Under the terms of the Community Development Block Grant program, at least one job must be created for every $30,000 in funding received, and at least 51 percent of those jobs must go to people from low-to-moderate-income households.

If Mathews Brothers isn’t selected to receive grant funding, Hawthorne said, the company has been setting aside money to pay for the upgrades to produce the new windows. However, he acknowledged that the grant funding would make the transition easier.

A letter of intent must be submitted by Feb. 1, and, if accepted, Mathews Brothers would submit a full application by March 1. Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge noted that the city has previously helped Front Street Shipyard to acquire a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant.

Kittredge did not know the exact date when the city would be notified if Mathews Brothers is selected to receive funding, but he estimated a decision could be made by late April or early May.

Councilor Mike Hurley and City Manager Joeseph Slocum praised Mathews Brothers for the work they do and for being a longtime fixture in Belfast.

“The reason Belfast is so strong is because of companies like yours,” Hurley said. “I’m really proud to make a motion to support that application.”

Mathews Brothers was founded in 1854, and is the oldest window manufacturer in the country.

Councilors unanimously approved the request to submit a letter of intent on behalf of Mathews Brothers.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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