JAY — Town officials are looking at economic development opportunities and community engagement as they envision a future without a paper mill come April 30.

Pixelle Specialty Solutions based in Pennsylvania announced in September that it would permanently shutter the Androscoggin Mill in the first quarter of 2023, but changed it to April 30.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said she and Select Board Chairman Terry Bergeron attended meetings this month with the Maine Development Foundation and Androscoggin Bank, and with Maine Development Foundation, Androscoggin Bank, Androscoggin Valley Council Governments and Greater Franklin Community and Economic Development.

“We are discussing a collaborative approach to look for funding opportunities related to economic development, community engagement, developing a vision for our future, a thriving community” and more, LaFreniere said. “It makes more sense for Jay to be part of a larger, regional application, as opposed to trying to submit an individual application to” Northern Border Regional Commission Grant.

Maine Development Foundation will submit a FORMaine application to the commission, which will include the town of Jay.

The letter of intent for the grant is due on March 10. LaFreniere advised the Select Board of the situation Monday. Selectpersons will be asked to consider submitting a letter of support for it. They will discuss it at their next meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Town Office.

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