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Senator Collins visits Androscoggin Mill in Jay, also discusses coronavirus

Senator Susan Collins visited the Androscoggin Mill in Jay just two weeks after an explosion there and also talked about the coronavirus

JAY, Maine — On Wednesday, Senator Susan Collins and state senators Russ Black of Franklin County and Senator Jeff Timberlake of Androscoggin County. The three toured the facility to see the damage after the recent explosion of two digesters in the pulp making side of the mill.

RELATED: No injuries following massive explosion at mill in Jay, Maine

Collins said that because of the 2017 Tax Reform Law, the Androscoggin Mill will qualify for federal assistance as officials and employees begin rebuilding the mill.

"My hope is that the tax changes, the offer to help with permitting and most of all the dedicated workforce will ultimately lead to a decision to rebuild the pulp digesters," Collins said.

"It's just a miracle we had no loss of life," State Senator Russ Black (R-Franklin) added. "The lifeblood of the economy of Central Maine is based on mills like this and we hope and pray this mill will be able to come through this."

"There's a sign out there that says Androscoggin Strong and I believe in that," State Senator Jeff Timberland (R-Androscoggin) said. Timberlake also noted that multiple generations of his family worked at the mill.

RELATED: Androscoggin Mill in Jay restarts 2 paper machines a week after explosion

Collins also answered questions about COVID-19.

When asked about the $6 billion tourism season in the state, "seasonal businesses could use as their base period the summer season of last year and that should help them get larger loans," Collins said.

RELATED: Real-time Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 updates: 52 dead, 1,056 confirmed, 615 Mainers recovered

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus