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Senator Collins Visits Katahdin Region to Discuss Plans to Revitalize Mill Sites, Expand Child Care

Senator Collins secured $7.5 million in the FY22 government funding law for these projects in Millinocket and East Millinocket and is working to secure an additional $2.5 million in FY23

Sen. Collins Visits Katahdin Center

Click HERE and HERE for photos of Senator Collins at Katahdin Higher Education Center

Click HERE and HERE for photos of Senator Collins meeting with Our Katahdin

Click HERE for a photo of Senator Collins and Mike Michaud


Millinocket & East Millinocket, ME—Yesterday, U.S. Senator Susan Collins traveled to Millinocket and East Millinocket to discuss several ongoing projects in the area that aim to revitalize the former mills and expand access to child care.  Senator Collins met with leaders of Our Katahdin; former Congressman and current East Millinocket Board of Selectman Chairman Mike Michaud; and Katahdin Higher Education Center Director Deb Rountree.


As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins secured $7.5 million to support several projects that are being spearheaded by these community leaders to boost infrastructure and economic development in the Katahdin region.  The funding was included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations package that was signed into law in March. 


“It was a pleasure to meet with Mainers who are committed to making the Katahdin region an even better place to start a business and raise a family.  Our Katahdin and the Town of East Millinocket have made encouraging progress to revitalize the former mill sites.  Their work will strengthen the communities and lay the foundation for future economic growth.  In addition, the Katahdin Higher Education Center’s project to double access to child care for families in eight surrounding towns will be a much-needed resource that will create a safe, structured environment for children to play and learn while their parents are at work.”


“As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I strongly advocated for funding to support these efforts, which will help attract new, innovative companies and create good-paying jobs in the Katahdin region,” Senator Collins continued. 


In Millinocket, Senator Collins went to the office of Our Katahdin, where she met with several members of the organization.  Our Katahdin—a volunteer driven nonprofit that is working to promote community and economic growth in the Katahdin region—is redeveloping the former Great Northern Paper mill site into a Commercialization Hub known as One North.  The project will bring emerging green technologies to commercial production scale, spurring new investments and creating new jobs.  Last year, Senator Collins attended a celebration welcoming Nautilus as the first tenant.


In the FY 2022 government funding law, Senator Collins secured $671,000 that will allow Our Katahdin to conduct an environmental study of the 26 acres of settlement lagoons containing sludge in need of removal and disposal.  The study will also entail an analysis of potential reuses of the wastewater treatment plant to serve new companies.   Senator Collins is working to secure an additional $2.5 million in the FY 2023 appropriations package to support the installation of a highly efficient biomass-fueled power plant to generate electricity and provide thermal energy.  This power plant would supply One North with renewable energy, further strengthen Maine’s forest products industry, and encourage additional economic development in Millinocket. 


Senator Collins subsequently traveled down the road to East Millinocket, where she met with Mike Michaud, the Chairman of the Board of Selectman, to discuss the latest developments at the former mill.  In 2020, the Town of East Millinocket purchased the site and has been working diligently to attract tenants.  To support these efforts, Senator Collins secured $2,851,000 in the FY 2022 appropriations law for train and truck infrastructure improvements to accommodate transportation, shipping, and receiving for current and future businesses.


Finally, Senator Collins stopped by the Katahdin Higher Education Center to meet with Director Deb Rountree and discuss the Center’s project to increase access to child care for families in the region.  The Katahdin Higher Education Center is an off-campus center of Eastern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Augusta.  Senator Collins secured $4,000,000 in the FY 2022 appropriations law, which will be used to expand child care services by renovating 2,000 square feet of space, constructing additional bathrooms, upgrading parking, repairing the roof, and making technology improvements.  In addition, the funding will support education and training resources, business incubation support, and after school programming.  

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