OLD TOWN - The city of Old Town today, as hundreds of people learned they would not be returning to work at the mill.
Since it's purchase out of bankruptcy in 2008, Old Town Fuel and Fiber has been a backbone of the community, employing hundreds of people and keeping the local economy viable.
But starting Wednesday afternoon, operations were suspended indefinitely.
Mill officials declined to go on camera today, but they did release a statement, explaining that the impact of foreign competition, and high energy and wood costs left them with little choice.
Human resources director for the mill, Dan Bird, wrote that all employees not needed for securing facilities will be furloughed. That affecting approximately 200 individuals.
For many, the mill was a constant in their lives, that the city of old town hopes to restore as quickly as possible.
Town manager, Bill Mayo, released a statement on the city's behalf saying "We would like to thank Lynn Tilton for purchasing the mill in November 2008. We also want to thank all of the employees. The city has faced this situation before and we will keep moving forward."
Mayo says the city plans to work with the mill and state officials to find a new buyer and keep Old Town moving forward in a positive direction.
The Maine Department of Labor has scheduled a session for furloughed workers that will evaluate what assistance programs are available.
That will be held this Tuesday at 2 p.m. at USW Local #80, Union Hall at 354 Main Street in Old Town.