Mixed views in East Millinocket as paper mill enters operational shutdown

8:42 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- The mill in East Millinocket will be looking for ways to lower costs, as they decided on Thursday to cease production temporarily for 16 weeks. On Friday concern over that shutdown spread throughout the town.

Views with much of the public were mixed regarding if the mill can find a way to cut operating costs. Officials with Great Northern Paper said Thursday that they had been dealing with high prices for wood and pulp to make paper. They added that there's also the volatile market for energy that's driving up costs to run the mill.

While trying to stay optimistic, town officials in East Millinocket said they are preparing for complications down the road. East Millinocket usually starts work on a budget for next year around this time. Town leaders now have delayed that process because of the situation with the mill.

Great Northern Paper is one of the largest taxpayers in East Millinocket. Officials say the mill will owe the town about $700,000 going into next year, which is about 28 percent of the tax base.

"Monday the board of selectmen will meet on the 27th to decide whether to continue with the budgets at this point or delay them a few more weeks," said Shirley Tapley who is the assistant to the town's select board.

While the shutdown is going on all workers at the mill will continue to be paid.


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