The East Millinocket paper mill was idled in April 2011, putting 450 people out of work, then was reopened by new owner Cate Street Capital, which was able to keep it operating only until early 2014. Foreign competition and high prices for energy and wood led to the mill’s demise. 2011 Press Herald file photo/Gordon Chibroski

The town of East Millinocket has purchased the site of the former Great Northern Paper Company mill.

The town purchased the site for $1.45 million, using federal grants, News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) reported. The sale closed on Tuesday.

The town plans to demolish the steam plant/biomass facility and then lease the site to industrial users, the station said, attributing the information to Mike Michaud, the former Maine 2nd District congressman who is now an East Millinocket selectman.

The demolition should be complete in about 18 months, Michaud said, and the town will seek financing to pay for improvements. Michaud said a business already has expressed interest in moving to the site, the station reported.

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