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Millinocket mill redevelopment partnership announced

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In this Tuesday, March 8, 2011 file photo, the paper mill in Millinocket, Maine, sits idle after it's closure by Katahdin Paper. The mill never reopened and since then has been dismantled and its buildings demolished by Great Northern Paper, which purchased the site from Katahdin Paper. The nonprofit Our Katahdin aquired the 1,400-acre site from Great Northern Paper in January. In this Tuesday, March 8, 2011 file photo, the paper mill in Millinocket, Maine, sits idle after it's closure by Katahdin Paper. The mill never reopened and since then has been dismantled and its buildings demolished by Great Northern Paper, which purchased the site from Katahdin Paper. The nonprofit Our Katahdin aquired the 1,400-acre site from Great Northern Paper in January. (AP file photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

MILLINOCKET - The Town of Millinocket and Our Katahdin, a regional nonprofit, have formalized a three-year agreement to collaborate on the redevelopment of the Millinocket mill site to benefit the people of the Katahdin region.    

From the beginning of its acquisition of GNP West Inc., Our Katahdin has worked closely with members of the Town Council and the management of the Town to structure a partnership that would leverage the existing 1,400-acre mill site and other property holdings in the best interest of the community.   

“As a nonprofit organization, the purchase and acquisition of the former mill site was never about our personal interest in gaining control of the property,” said Mike Osborne – Vice President of Our Katahdin. “Our goal has been to put this unique industrial asset in the hands of our community and to partner together with the Town and with companies who want to leverage the unique industrial assets of our region for redevelopment. This partnership is critical, as together we are stronger in developing a comprehensive plan and marketing our future.”

The framework of the partnership established between the parties includes the transfer of real estate properties adjacent to the Millinocket airport.   

“This land is pivotal for the growth and development of the region’s airport and to attract additional funding to expand the aviation services to the region,” said Michael Madore, Chairman of the Millinocket Town Council.    

The transfer of this property is in exchange for a portion of the past-due real estate taxes that were inherited by Our Katahdin as part of the acquisition of GNP West.   

“Access to developable land is key to the economic future of the region, and with this newly acquired land from Our Katahdin, the Town has an opportunity to develop this property further through federal and state grants, attracting aviation businesses, and general aviation traffic,” said John Davis, Millinocket Town Manager.   

Additional terms of the partnership include the establishment of a joint Economic Development Committee that will provide strategic guidance to redevelopment activities on the former Millinocket mill site for an initial period of three years. The committee will consist of members of the Our Katahdin board and representatives appointed by the Town of Millinocket. The structure of the agreement includes regular meetings to define redevelopment priorities and potential business prospects, to leverage the unique capabilities of a municipality and a nonprofit in incentivizing redevelopment, and to ensure business development remains in the best interest of the community.   

Our Katahdin has agreed to continue to provide community and economic development services to the Katahdin region through its six board members and five full-time staff, and has provided the Town of Millinocket a right of first refusal on the Millinocket mill site to ensure this industrial asset remains in the hand of the community.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 09:28

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