Economy Hurts Local Community 

When Jack Brunette opened his store 30 years ago, business was taking off.”It was great. There were a lot of people in town. We were, we opened up, people started coming in and I thought this is too easy.”Now, Katahdin Karpets is selling everything at a discount as part of its going out of business sale.”Not enough money coming. We’re not making enough sales to pay the bills.”It’s a problem that’s all too familiar for businesses in Millinocket.Two years ago, the town’s economy took a hit when the Katahdin Paper Mill closed, leaving almost 2-hundred people without a job.”A lot of them have left town. Many houses here for sale. Where are they going to go?”Money Mcgibbons’ sons worked at the mill, and had to leave to find jobs. “We’re turning into a ghost town.”But town manager, Eugene Conlogue, says that’s not the case. The Katahdin Valley Health Center recently received federal stimulus money to build new medical offices in town. The project is expected to create about twenty jobs.”These are the types of jobs that provide good wages and benefits, and also provides a very good service and whatever. So, we’re very excited about that.”They’re still working on bringing new retailers to the area, but they hope this development is a sign of what’s to come.”Some of it’s going to be a faith train for awhile, but we’re making progress.”Which residents may start to notice as early as this summer when the building is scheduled to be finished.