The End of the Spring Mill?
ABCD Corp. Seeks Grant to Study Spring Mill Property
April 1, 2021
Most of Appvion’s Spring Mill plant employees clocked in for their shifts for the last time on March 17, and when the last roll of paper came off the machine, they walked out its doors for the last time, drawing the curtain on a plant that had been a symbol of prosperity in Roaring Spring for more than 150 years.
With production stopped, preparing the plant to sit idle is all that remains to be done. Some hourly employees are staying on until April 15 to perform final cleanup duties.
Spring Mill also operates its own waste treatment plant and that will take some time to shut down. All waste in the holding tanks will have to be properly treated and disposed of and the tanks cleaned. Once the remaining Spring Mill employees leave on April 15, the operation and shut down of the wastewater system will be subcontracted out.
Now that the familiar white steam has stopped rising from Spring Mill’s stacks, attention will focus on the future and attracting potential buyers to the once prosperous plant.
The Altoona Blair County Development Corp. (ABCD Corp.) is taking a step in that direction by requesting a $95,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a feasibility study of the plant.
ABCD Corp. President and CEO Steve McKnight said the study could provide necessary information to potential businesses that might have an interest in reopening or repurposing the Spring Mill plant.
“The goal is to look at existing buildings, equipment, infrastructure, transportation and logistical issues as well as permitting requirements to help potential buyers gather necessary data and information as they do their due diligence on the property,” McKnight said. “We are not certain at this time if such a study would be required, but we wanted to get the funding in place in case.”
McKnight said the timeline of the study is dependent upon the need for the information the study would provide. It will also determine if the USDA will provide any grant funds.
“We will probably hear something in the coming months,” he said.