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Florelle Tissue Starts up Converted Mill in New York

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Florelle Tissue Corp., Brownville, N.Y., USA, has begun production following a four month conversion of a specialty paper mill formerly known as Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. According to a report this past week in the Watertown Daily News, Watertown, N.Y., 15 production employees are now working at the plant, operating a napkin machine that started up early last week. Soon, the article notes, packages of napkins produced at the plant will be shipped to customers in Canada, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

The mill, which has been closed for three years, has a total of 94,000 sq ft. President Harry Minas explained in the newspaper article that for the past two years, Florelle had been busy securing funding and making plans to outfit the mill. He noted that the mill will have a second machine up and running within a few more days, and that it will add a second 12-hr production shift this month. "The napkins have already been sold, and we have clients across Canada that are waiting for the product."

To be ready this month, three more converting machines are being installed that will produce paper towels and bathroom tissue, Minas said. The plant will hire an additional 15 to 20 production workers to operate that equipment. "It'll probably be a couple of weeks before we're ready to hire, but it should happen by the end of May or beginning of June," Minas added.

Minas said the plant will continue installing converting equipment throughout the summer. A paper machine that will use virgin pulp is being installed, which will be completed by August. More converting machines will be installed in June. By the end of the year, the mill will operate 24 hr a day, seven days a week. Employees will work on two 12-hour shifts every day.

"I foresee the machines being installed by late summer," he said. "We hope to be hitting our target of 70 to 75 employees" by the end of the year, Minas said in the article.

Reported to cost more than $4 million, the project received funding from several local sources, including a $350,000 loan from the Jefferson County, N.Y., Industrial Development Agency, a $250,000 loan from the Development Authority of the North Country, a $125,000 loan from the North Country Alliance, and a $100,000 grant from the Jefferson County Local Development Corp.


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