Feedback: Newton Falls Residents Struggle, Hope
In the last few years, the Newton Falls paper mill closed, opened, closed again, talked about reopening and now is closed for the forseeable future.
So people in Newton Falls are used to living with uncertainty. They just wish the fate of the mill - and with it, the community - was a little clearer.
"We'll just have to adjust, I guess," said James Bizallion, a resident.
There was a little good news for Newton Falls Thursday. The company that owns the mill, Scotia Investments, said it plans to leave all the machinery in the mill ready to operate fow now, while Scotia tries to sell the mill.
That takes one big fear - that the mill would be stripped of its equipment - off the table for the time being.
"There is equipment and a facility there that we think has the opportunity to be utilized in a productive manner," said Patrick Kelly, head of the county's Industrial Development Agency.
Problem is, the communty may not be able to wait.Longtime resident Roberta Provost sees more and more 'for sale' signs show up in yards.
"It's like Newton Falls is going off the map and that's gonna be it," she said. "I can't see anybody else buying that mill."
"Ideally, the mill will be sold as a going concern (or, in its current state), however the owners will review all options as the process continues," Scotia said in its statement.
One other issue: a rail line that runs through Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties and connects to the mill. Without an operating mill, it's not clear how the rehabilitation of the rail line will proceed, though 7 News reporter John Friot was told a nearly $10 million state economic development grant for the rail line is expected to progress, regardless of the paper mill's status.
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Saturday, May 25, 2013, Watertown, NY
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