MADISON – Word of the pending closure of the Madison paper industries mill trickled Monday through town, but everybody we spoke with said the pending May closure of the Madison Paper Industries mill, while sad and shocking, was not a surprise.
Nearly 200 people will lose their jobs. Mill officials released a statement Monday citing lack of sales as a key factor in the decision to close the mill. The statement said the Madison mill just wasn’t able to be cost-competitive.
A spokesperson with the Maine Department of Labor says a rapid deployment team is headed to Madison to assist those workers who will soon find themselves out of a job. At its peak, the paper industry employed nearly 20,000 people. Today, there are still more than 4,500 paper mill jobs.
According to the Maine pulp and paper association, five paper mills have closed since 2014 And only seven mills remain operational.
“We’ve taken the big hit already,” Madison town manager Tim Curtis said. “This is really sad news, but it’s not a surprise.” Curtis said it should be stressed the company is not filing bankruptcy. While the mill will cease production, the company intends to honor its debts.
Governor Paul LePage stated the loss of these jobs is just another indication the state needs lower taxes as well as reduced energy costs. .