The nonprofit community development organization Our Katahdin, in Millinocket, has been awarded $5.3 million by the federal government to make infrastructure improvements at the site of the former Great Northern Paper Mill. The money will be used to establish an industrial park to support traditional and innovative forest-products businesses and other industries to support economic recovery in the region.
“Our grand goal is to have a research and innovation center around those next generation wood fiber products,” says Our Katahdin spokesperson Steve Sanders.
Sanders says the investment money from the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration will help fund construction in a way that leverages what are seen to be the site's competitive advantages, largely around infrastructure.
“Road improvements and expansion, water and sewer connections and expansions, and bring broadband access to the parcel and also power distribution throughout the campus,” says Sanders.
The mill ceased operations in 2008. Our Katahdin bought the former mill site for $1 in January of 2017.
Sanders says the organization is working hard to resolve a $1.4 million inherited lien on the site that will allow the grant funds to flow.