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Appvion mill site to be razed

PENNSYLVANIA (From news reports) -- A company with expertise in recycling and environmental cleanup has begun demolishing the former Appvion paper mill in Roaring Spring.

Along with Altoona Blair County Development Corp. CEO Steve McKnight, Delaney will announce post-demolition plans at a Roaring Spring Borough Council meeting Monday, according to the meeting agenda and Delaney, who spoke by phone with local media Thursday.

"It's going to be, in terms of economic impact, very significant," Delaney said. "I'm very excited to reveal it."

The demolition and cleanup alone will be significant, according to Borough Council President Rodney Green.

Without such work, there was a risk the property would turn into an unsafe, "deteriorating, rusting ... legacy-type" liability, he said.

"I don't know the future," Green stated. "But (demolition and cleanup) removes that aspect and creates hope" for future development.

The involvement of ABCD and local lawmakers helps give Green confidence.

When Appvion closed the mill in early 2021, $38 million in annual payroll was lost, which was a blow to the entire region, Green said.

SafeGate acquired the property in the fall from a three-company consortium, according to Green.

That consortium sold off all the papermaking machines, which have been gone for almost a year and which are now in South America, Green said.

Tanks and supporting structures are still on site, Green said.

SafeGate will recycle all it can, Delaney said.

That includes steel beams and other structural steel, steel siding and non-ferrous metals, he said.

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