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April 19, 2016

As auction begins, Lincoln Mill workers look towards possible restart

Illustration / Matt Selva
Illustration / Matt Selva

Today marks the day that many former workers of the Old Town-based Expera Fiber Mill and Lincoln Paper & Tissue Mill have been hoping would never arrive, as the facilities and equipment of the shuttered mills have hit the auction block in Bangor.

But one group of six former Lincoln mill employees, with the support of community members, has arrived at the four-day auction with one plan: buy back the equipment needed to restart production at the mill under a new business plan, with a slated resumption of high-end tissue products production in June.

McMahon told WCSH-TV 6 the plans to resurrect production at the mill have been developed in secret over the past few months, but when the facilities and equipment auction was announced the group had to speed up its schedule.

"The people of Lincoln are fantastic. And what they want to do is get their pride back, and they want to be able to pay taxes again," John McMahon, the former director of sales for the mill and a member of the group looking to restart production, told WCSH. "They're not looking for charity. They want dignity. They want jobs. And these are skilled jobs. And I would like this mill to be a model for a way to change how people approach business."

McMahon said the group of former workers has met with the Gordon Brothers Group, the leader of the partnership that bought the Lincoln Mill, to arrange a deal to purchase the necessary machines to resume production before they're auctioned.

If a deal isn't reached before the auction begins, the group will have to compete with other interested buyers.

"It's a crying shame, what's happened to all the mills. It is a lot of jobs, a lot of history," said Leonard Markie, a former pulp mill maintenance worker told the Bangor Daily News. "It seems something could have been done to save everything."

Read more

Restart efforts for Lincoln mill come to a close

Lincoln mill owners squabble over financing claim from former employee

Lincoln mill equipment sold at auction headed out of the country

Lincoln and Old Town paper mills heading to auction

Lincoln Mill intellectual property sold to liquidators

Workers 'blindsided' by Madison mill closure

Expedited hearing sought for sale of Lincoln mill's IP rights

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