Residents in East Millinocket & Millinocket Cautiously Optimistic Over Possible Mill Sale
We’re still waiting to hear final word on the sale of the Katahdin Paper Mills.We spoke to Senior vice President Richard Cyr of Cate Street Capital, the New Hampshire company that’s in the process of buying the mills. He tells us there have been a few snags, but they’re working to resolve them.The atmosphere in both Millinocket and East Millinocket can be described as cautiously optimistic.Everyone is hoping the sale goes through.Both towns have reached tax agreements with the company.East Millinocket will receive $700,000 in property tax dollars each year.Millinocket will receive $900,000 a year in property taxes for the next ten years, and if new investments are added, it could be more.Everyone likes that the company is bringing something new to the table, making new products and revitalizing the mills.”In the paper industry, it’s vital because the paper industry is in the skids right now and obviously the old way of thinking wasn’t going to hack it. As the governor pointed out, we don’t want to bring in a company have four more years and then once again have to have this discussion again. We want a company that’s going to come in and move forward and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”"They’re starting at the base level and I believe with the quality of the workforce that we have, there’s some high quality paper makers and maintenance people. This economic model and incentive, multi-tasking is going to be able to make a product less expensively and will be able to compete.”If all goes as planned, work will start Monday and the company plans to hire back 200 to 250 workers in stages.That’s about half of the people who lost their jobs when the mill in East Millinocket closed in April. The Millinocket mill closed in 2008.The new company will also look to the past for its new name. It will be called Great Northern Paper Company.