JAY — Pixelle Specialty Solutions has moved the permanent closing of the Androscoggin Mill to the beginning of the second quarter of 2023.

On Sept. 20, the Pennsylvania-based company said it would close the mill in the first quarter of next year and 230 people will lose their jobs.

Pixelle sent a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter dated Sept. 30 via FedEx to Franklin County commissioners and Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere. An email was sent on Oct. 3.

The closing date has been moved to April 30, 2023, or the 14-day period commencing on that date, according to the letter.

During the Jay Select Board meeting on Monday, a Jay resident asked about the closing of the mill and whether the town will apply to the state to have the valuation of the town reduced.

The town has reduced spending because of downsizing at the mill for several years.

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When the town applies for the reduction of the town’s valuation will depend on when the mill shuts down, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said during the meeting. The town’s valuation will be assessed on April 1, 2023. Pixelle plans to run one paper machine through April but the other one will be shut down prior to that, she said.

“Our Androscoggin mill team at all levels has worked with great effort and professional dedication to get to profitable operations over several years. Unfortunately, extraordinary inflation input costs for pulp, transportation, materials, and energy have resulted in significant cash losses for the Androscoggin Mill. These unsustainable cash losses coupled with large necessary infrastructure investments have led us to the difficult decision to discontinue operations,” according to the letter signed by Eric Hanson, vice president and general manager of the mill.

Pixelle will treat the terminations as a workforce reduction that will make severance benefits available if employees satisfy other eligibility criteria. An attachment to the letter lists the job titles of individuals who will be affected by the closing, but no names.

“The affected employees are not represented by any labor organization,” according to the letter.

The Maine Department Of Labor’s Rapid Response Team in partnership with Regional School Unit 73 Adult Education will be hosting a Career Resource Fair for Pixelle workers and the general public. It will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at 9 Cedar St. in Livermore Falls where the adult education program is located.

For more information people can contact Joseph Castaneda at [email protected] or 207-707-2054, or Robyn Raymond, director of adult education, at [email protected] or 207-897-6406.

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