BUCKSPORT, Maine (WABI) Since closing in 2014, the former Verso Paper Mill has sat idle in Bucksport. But recent activity has brought a little light to the area.
“We're not sitting still, we're moving forward,” said Richard Rotella, community and economic developer for the town of Bucksport. “And we're moving forward with our partners. Maine Bio Mass Exports is located on site. They've go roughly eight to ten acres. They've got a lease at this time and they've got logs on site.”
The company is debarking logs and shipping them to Boston to be exported.
“It's showing that there is interest in Bucksport, there is interest in the mill site and the assets that site contains. It's going to be amazing.”
The lease to use the mill has created a few local jobs but it is temporary. Meanwhile, the Town of Bucksport says they are working on plans to further develop the site.
“The town of Bucksport on behalf of Eastern Maine Development Corporation received a 200 thousand dollar, area-wide planning grant this past winter.”
Community members have a chance to get involved with development plans. The town is hosting an open house on Tuesday October 17th at Heart and Soul on Main Street.
“This open house is to invite the citizens of Bucksport in to discuss the redevelopment of the mill site and who that relates to connecting to the downtown, a possible port.”
Bucksport town officials believe keeping the community involved is important when it comes to developing the land where the mill currently sits.
“For many years this was known as a mill town. Now, we have our opportunity to redefine ourselves and it shouldn't be one person or just a group of people. It should involve everyone.”