Berlin Biopower and Other North Country News

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peakbagger

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I attended the groundbreaking for the Berlin Biopower project in Berlin NH yesterday. It is located on the former site of the Berlin Pulp mill. Here is a link to the berlin daily sun with details about the project

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/files/pdfarchivenew/BerlinPDF/2011/10_October/7B.pdf

As discussed in the article, there will be an additional facility colocated on the site which is supposed to be announced soon. So direct jobs at the old pulp mill site will be 150 to 200 jobs with numerous supporting jobs in the woods industry and local businesses.

Now add in the potential employment of 300 plus for the federal prison (which is in the federal budget for next year),the Gorham papermill's potential increase in employment associated with a new papermachine, a new proposal to site a manufacturing facility at the old Groveton NH papermill complex and it looks like the area can see a level of prosperity it hasnt seen for a few many years.

Its starting to look like what happened to Lincoln and Littleton over the years is starting to slowly happen in the north country. Not obvious to folks that drive through Berlin on occasion is that the city is making a dent in the blighted excess housing situation. There is a active program to demolish decrepit housing and the city is actively pursuing landlords to fix up their rentals and hold them responsible for the actions of their tenants. Plus there is an active program to rehab existing apartment building to current energy and code standards. Obviously, the region is never going to be a resort complex, but it will be a stable area of working folks that can afford to live and bring up their families. Heck some of the newer residents may hike and take interest in maintaining trails.

Now if we could get a decent grocery store with edible fresh vegetables, as Walmart sure hasnt figured it out :(
 
Great news Peakbagger.

Glad to hear they are working on the housing situation, especially on the west side as that to me is the worst. My wife's grandfather used to own one of those three-story apartment buildings, since burned down. I'd love to see some way to tear down 1/3 of the houses, and concentrate then on the remaing units. No idea how to make that $$ work.

Totally on the grocery situation there. Ugh....
 
The housing situation is going to take awhile to clean up. Berlin had a peak population over 30 thousand prior to WW2 and its down below 10,000 these days. Most of the problem housing are the three story apartments which were built pre WW2.

Of course where else can you pick up a John Calvin Stevens designed victorian for less than 100K ? Granted its probably been chopped up into apartments, but some of the older homes in town have some incredible wood work and finishes. Not very good for someone who want to flip a house due to the depressed market but for someone moving to the area for the long term its hard to beat the selection.
 
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