OLD TOWN (NEWS CENTER Maine) — The new owners of the shuttered Old Town Paper Mill, that closed in 2015, say it will reopen in early 2019 and is expected to bring about 120 jobs.
ND Paper LLC announced Wednesday that they have an agreement to purchase the mill from OTM Holdings LLC for an undisclosed amount.
ND Paper also recently purchased the Rumford mill.
As these jobs open and the workforce ages, many employers are looking for recent college grads or other young people to fill these positions.
Old Town Mayor, David Mahan says having the University of Maine so close to the mill, the hope is to employee recent grads and keep them in the state.
"I mean I saw it and I was like well if it pays good, I thought about it, you know." University of Maine student, Jonathan Legere said. "I feel like millennials would be less interested to work in a mill. Um, I think a lot of us are more environmentally conscious, but at the same time, finance wise, it could definitely be a huge plus for them."
A huge plus for employees and the Old Town community. Mahan says the 120 jobs at the mill won't be the only positions to fill.
"The surrounding communities that will get affect from this also. The gas stations, the super markets, the restaurants. It's going to add jobs in the woods for the wood cutters and the people bringing the pulp to the mill." He said.
When the mill shut down three years ago, jobs outside the mill walls were also lost. Including 25% of city jobs, due to lost tax revenue.
"The tax bill was approximately two and a half million dollars at this time, with the mill closure its down to about one hundred and seventy thousand dollars a year. Um, so hopefully that'll stabilize that as we move forward."
The city of Old Town and others across the state are looking forward to this new chapter.
“Today’s announcement is the latest in a line of important investments that will boost not just our state’s forest products industry, but also the Maine families and communities that rely on this vital sector of our economy,” Senators Susan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“With lower taxes and less red tape, Maine’s economy is continuing to grow, including today’s tremendous investment which will create more than 100 jobs in Penobscot County," Congressman Poliquin said in his release.
The mill is set to reopen early next year.