ROCKPORT - Workers broke ground Jan. 6 on a 2,000-square-foot expansion of On the Water in Maine's Rockport headquarters.
The expansion will allow On the Water in Maine to add a commercial laundry facility to support its rental operations. Following a growing national trend, On the Water in Maine will be supplying its own rental linens and towels to property owners and renters that do business with the company. The laundry machines will have ozonators installed as part of the laundry process.
Ozone washing increases textile life, reduces propane gas and energy costs, offers faster fill rates, shorter wash cycles and shorter drying times. Whiter, softer, sanitized, fresh smelling and longer lasting linens and towels result in a better product for renters and help the environment at the same time.
Without the support of the town of Rockport, this project wouldn't have been possible, according to company officials in a news release. They added that their current septic system at On the Water in Maine's office wasn't large enough to support a commercial laundry facility, and they needed the town to expand its wastewater line so they could connect to it.
Rockport Town Manager Rick Bates said Monday that the town had been contemplating a wastewater expansion for several years and were really waiting for a reason to pull the trigger on it.
“We did the survey of the road where the sewer will go, a couple of years ago, and the design of an extension the next year, in the hope that some user would come along, that would be the impetus for us to get started on it. On the Water in Maine was the perfect reason,” Bates.
Bates said the money has been in the fund since the system was built. He said there was a little bit of debate about using the money that we had in the fund, as we might need that money "just in case" something went wrong. But he added that in the end, the town has a really well-funded capital improvement plan that has all of those "just in case" things already figured into it.
“Normally, extensions like this are VERY expensive,” said Bates. “This one is so short and in the big scheme of things, very doable, that it just makes sense to get it done. Additionally all the properties up the hill will get the benefit of being able to connect. The large building that was for sale for so long was purchased recently and possibly having sewer will impact it's future use.”
Company officials said in a news release that work is scheduled to be completed this spring for both phases of the project.
Rockport's Phi Builders + Architects is the contractor on the project. Phi built the original On the Water in Maine office and recently completed a renovation of the company's Damariscotta Office.
"The property owners who list their homes with us have been pushing us to offer standardized rental linens and towels for their renters for years,'" On the Water in Maine Co-Owner Tiffany Ford said at the groundbreaking. "Rockport has been a great home to us over the past 10 years and we appreciate the support that the town is giving us to help push this project forward. We couldn't be happier to have local companies like Phi, Rhino Services, Gartley & Dorsky and David Leighton Plumbing & Heating helping us with the expansion."
Supporting the company expansion, Kelsey Liversidge was promoted to the role of property manager at the company. Starting as a summer intern in 2015, company officials said that Liversidge has quickly shown the strength and integrity to be a property manager.
"Kelsey's promotion recognizes her strong leadership and exceptional business performance. Since joining On the Water in Maine, Kelsey's ability to acquire and develop profitable relationships and to manage renter satisfaction has enabled her to build a strong reputation with the company" said Ford.
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