West, Enfield, ME — This morning, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited Pleasant River Lumber Company in West Enfield to tour the filing shop and the new sawmill, as well as meet with employees. It is the first new Greenfield sawmill built in Maine since 2014 and was funded through a $25 million, 3- year investment project spread out between their mills in Jackman, Dover-Foxcroft, and West Enfield.
“The dedicated men and women at Pleasant River Lumber in West Enfield are committed to quality, excellence, and safety, making them a shining example of the outstanding work being done in Maine’s forest products industry,” said Senator Collins. “I will continue to work to support the skilled professionals who work in this industry, which serves as an economic engine throughout rural communities.”
In 2018, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) awarded a $4,266,000 challenge grant to Pleasant River Lumber to be used toward a $15 million expansion at Pleasant River Lumber’s mill in Dover-Foxcroft and a $9 million investment in a new facility in West Enfield. There was also an investment made in the Jackman facility.
Pleasant River Lumber operates Spruce and Pine mills in West Enfield, Dover-Foxcroft, Moose River, Hancock, and Sanford, and it also operates a trucking company. Earlier this year, the business received a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help continue paying its 330 employees.
As a member of the Small Business Task Force, Senator Collins co-authored the PPP, which passed the Senate unanimously in March and has been a lifeline to millions of small employers and their employees across the country. Last month, Senators Collins and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation that would allow the hardest-hit small businesses to receive a second PPP loan. Since its launch in early April, more than 28,000 Maine small businesses and self-employed individuals have received nearly $2.3 billion in forgivable loans, which has helped to support more than 250,000 jobs throughout the state.
Senator Collins, along with Representative Jared Golden (D-ME), also led a bicameral, bipartisan group in introducing the Loggers Relief Act earlier this year. This legislation would authorize USDA to provide direct support to loggers and log haulers who experienced at least a 10 percent loss in the first seven months of 2020 (as compared to 2019). Last week, Senator Collins led a bipartisan group in urging the USDA to provide financial assistance to American loggers and log haulers who have been experiencing serious financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.