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Jay mill stops making paper

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public

This week, the Androscoggin Mill in Jay stopped making paper. The owner, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, announced last year that it planned to close mill, which employs 230 people. It cited business and financial challenges that were compounded by the explosion of a pulp digester in 2020.

Jay town manager Shiloh LaFreniere says the Maine Department of Labor and RSU 73 Adult Education recently held a resource fair, and there will be a hiring fair this Monday. She says one positive side to the situation is there are more jobs available now compared to previous years when the mill has downsized.

"The economy now, the fact that people are hiring, there's companies, ya know, as soon as they made the announcement, there were companies calling saying, 'How do we get our names in front of these employees?'" LaFreniere says.

But with the town facing a lower tax value, LaFreniere says it's applying for a sudden and severe valuation loss with the state.

"Which helps the state recognize that value faster, so it allows for more education funding and more revenue sharing to come to the town, which helps to offset what the taxpayers have to take on," she says.

The town is also collaborating with organizations to apply for grants to help create an economic development vision for the area.