GILMAN, Vt. (AP) – A paper mill in the Northeast Kingdom will start hiring next week for its planned reopening this summer.

Mill owner Dirigo Paper Co. plans to hire as many as 25 engineering and maintenance workers to prepare for restarting production, Dirigo Chief Executive Peter Hanson said on Friday. The mill would eventually employ about 90 people, he said.

Production workers will be hired when the mill is ready for production, Hanson said. When the start would be depends on how much work needs to be done to make the plant ready, he said.

“The mill has been cold and everything needs to be checked out,” Hanson said. “I hope we’ll be making paper by August.”

Job applications will be handled by the Vermont Employment and Training Department and the New Hampshire Employment Security Department. The Gilman mill, which opened in 1901, sits on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River in the southern end of Essex County. The mill last produced paper in April 2002 when it shut down due to the financial difficulties of its owner, American Tissue Corp., which acquired the plant from Seattle-based Simpson Paper Co. in 1999.

The shutdown cost Vermont and New Hampshire 120 jobs.

Hanson, a Massachusetts entrepreneur who started Dirigo to buy paper mills, acquired the Gilman mill in 2003. The mill will initially produce printing and writing paper, he said.

AP-ES-06-05-04 1139EDT

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