About half of the employees at the Lincoln Paper and Tissue Mill were told not to go to work on Thursday.
“It affects the whole region, it affects the whole town, so it’s devastating news,” said Bill Lawrence, Lincoln Town Manager.
The mill layoffs are the talk of the town.
“It will affect our business and probably every business in Lincoln,” said Catherine Gilmor, Manager of Gilmor’s restaurant.
For years, the Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill has been the largest employer in the area and a staple in the community.
Lincoln resident, Jim Whitney said, “My friends, neighbors, classmates, they all work at the mill, so I’m concerned for their Christmas and their holiday season.”
Mill President Keith Van Scotter said the 200 layoffs are a result of a boiler explosion on November 2nd.
The town has been holding their breath ever since.
“With the explosion they had and the repercussions of that, they’re doing what they have to do. They’re making the tough choices,” said Gilmor.
Lincoln’s town manager said the town board is looking into ways to help the families impacted by the layoffs, even if that means budget cuts.
“Once this picture is put in front of us and we have a better understanding of what the financial impact might be for this town and for this region, we’re going to have to make some decisions,” said Lawrence.
People around town think it’s heartbreaking to get a pink slip before the holidays.
“This is the wrong time of year to be laid off. It’s the wrong time of year for anyone to get laid off before Christmas,” said Bonnie Dickinson, a member of the Golden Key Senior Center.
For now, the community is trying to keep a positive outlook.
“Lincoln will prevail. It’s a great town. I love this town,” said Gilmor.
Residents said they hope the 200 employees are back at the mill soon, before it trickles down into local business.