This is the former pulp mill, not the paper mill. Here’s a copy of the utility assessor’s testimony on behalf of the city of Berlin on why the Laidlaw project should go ahead. Chris Jensen has been doing some good work on this story for NHPR, but this popped up on Twitter and I’m not sure it’s been out there yet. This is just for those who want to dig a little deeper. I’ve been out of it a bit, but this made for some interesting reading.
2 thoughts on “More Mill”
Thanks. It’s out and could be view in NHPUC website. It’s showing the importance of Laidlaw in Berlin and the very much needed project.
It also raises some questions I started to look into but never got to the bottom of. How does the contract utility assessor get paid? Does he make more if there is a utility facility on the property, or is it the same whether the boiler is dormant or running? Are there conflicts of interest there? I’m not sure if there are, but I would want to look more deeply into those questions, particularly where there are mixed reviews coming from the office of the consumer advocate at the PUC.
I would love to have the resources to really delve into that story. Where I am now, I occasionally get two or three days to dig into one complex story. That’s not how it was in Berlin, where I was writing almost everything that went into the paper. A story like this would take a dozen days because of the complexity. No one has those sorts of resources. But you have to wonder what’s going on when the office of the consumer advocate is saying this is a bad deal for the New Hampshire rate payer. That’s a pretty big statement.
But then there is the question of whether it’s good for Berlin or not. As New Hampshire rate payers, the consumer advocate would say no, but maybe that negative would be offset by jobs and increased wood purchases. And maybe that would be offset by a decrease in burgeoning tourism market the ATV park has created. Complex. I wish I had a month to explore it.