Concerns Mount Over Future Of Mill

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Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation President Chris Westbrook is worried what the future holds for the idled Newton Falls paper mill and what will happen to the industrial site if the equipment is removed by its owners.

"I think there's a lot of other environmental liabilities that are going to have to be dealt with and I'm afraid that they're just going to walk away and we're not going to be able to hold them responsible for those environmental liabilities," said Westbrook.
 
The mill's owners, Scotia Investments, held an auction of the mill and its contents in March.

A mystery bidder offered $2 million, but the sale fell through.
 
Scotia Senior Vice President Robert Patzelt says his company is still looking for buyers for the mill's assets.

He said, "Some parties have expressed interest in the pieces of papermaking equipment," but nothing has been sold or dismantled yet.
 
The mill's owners have had discussions with the state Department of Environmental Conservation over obligations Scotia Investments would have to shut the mill down completely and clean up environmental liabilities.
 
DEC officials tell us the mill owner has been sent a letter about state environmental concerns.

Included among the issues addressed was when equipment is dismantled and removed that all fluids be collected and properly disposed.

In addition, the mill's wastewater treatment plant requires a closure plan be submitted at least 60 days before the permanent closure date.
 
So is there a glimmer of hope that the manufacturing and production capabilities of the mill can still be preserved allowing it to eventually resume production?
 
For now, the mill's future still remains cloudy at best.
 

Thursday, October 2, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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