RUMFORD – The closure of a NewPage Corp. paper mill in Kimberly, Wis., may have a beneficial effect on the local mill.

A statement issued Wednesday said the Wisconsin mill, one of 11 owned by NewPage, will close at the end of August, putting about 475 employees out of work.

Tony Lyons, spokesman for the Rumford mill, said decisions will be made by the end of August on which of the remaining mills will take over production of some of the paper grades produced at Kimberly.

“The grades (paper) manufactured will be spread across all the mills,” Lyons said. “Some may come here.”

Closing the Kimberly mill allows the remaining mills to run more fully, he added.

In Rumford, he said the number of employees has remained at 1,000. When the No. 11 machine was shut down permanently last winter, about 70 workers were laid off. All who wanted to return to work have been recalled, he said.

Also, he said the mill hired 30 people to work for the summer. The mill also participates in a co-operative internship program where 13 engineering students use their skills and learn new ones over three to six months, Lyons said.

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