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Development grant awarded for site work at former Groveton mill complex


August 24, 2018
NORTHUMBERLAND The Northumberland board of selectmen recently announced that a Rural Business Development Grant was awarded for work at the former Groveton mill site that is intended as the future site of an industrial park.

The RBDG in the amount of $45,000 is water and sewer engineering as well as for roadway design of the former mill clarifier and sludge treatment lagoon site. The site is owned by business man Robert Chapman of Chapman North Country Development LLC.

"The designed infrastructure is intended to support an industrial complex having an anticipated tenant that will provide an initial 85 jobs to the Northumberland community," the press release stated. "Construction for installation of the water/sewer/road is slated for 2019."

Chapman purchased the 137 acre lot village of the former Groveton Wausau and Paperboard mills in hopes to attract business tenants for an industrial park and create jobs.

Robin L. Irving, Special Projects Administrator/Grants Manager for the town of Northumberland explained in an email that the focus is for one parcel that is ready for business. The other parcel is in dire need of further funding due to major damage.

"Chapman has nothing concrete in the works," said Irving. "It is so fluid because he cannot commit any businesses to this location until he has the infrastructure in place."

Irving said the sewer and water systems were destroyed due to the demolition of the building

"So, the whole site needs to be re-engineered and configured," Irving explained. "There still may be some opportunity to tie into the gas with LNG and/or CNG but those kinds of businesses are just waiting. This side of the river will take a few years to develop and it will be phased with engineering this year, construction in a couple of years, etc. Funding will be the biggest hurdle because it will most likely have to be privately funded as the town will not be able to handle another large bond for an economic development project with a private third party beneficiary when there are other town projects that have much higher priority."

However, he said the water and sewer mains for the other parcel were recently installed this summer.

"This is where the focus will really be," he said. "It is now ready for business to move in. Having said that, however, no none has come before the Planning Board for a site plan review or before the Board of Selectmen for a building permit."

Irving said submitted an RFQ for the engineering of water, sewer and roadway for the parcel set to occupied by an industrial park.

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