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Jay Pixelle paper mill stops making paper

JAY, Maine (From news reports) -- The Androscoggin Mill in Jay stopped making paper last week.

The owner, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, announced last year that it planned to close the mill, which employs 230 people. It cited business and financial challenges compounded by the explosion of a pulp digester in 2020. Last month, the company announced the mill would close weeks earlier than initially anticipated.

Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said 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 said one positive side to the situation is there are more jobs available now compared with 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 said.

But with the town facing a lower tax value, LaFreniere said 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 said.

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

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