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Cascades Containerboard To Shut Down Newtown Plant



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Cascades Containerboard Packaging has announced the closing of its Newtown location, located at 32 Schoolhouse Hill Road. It will be closing its doors, a move that will affect 71 jobs.

Cascades announced an “operational realignment and optimization” of its Containerboard Packaging platform. In addition to the Newtown converting plant, the currently idled Trenton, Ontario, corrugated medium mill will not restart operations, while the Belleville, Ontario, converting plant will be permanently closed, the company has also announced.

Following recent strategic investments in the Bear Island mill and its converting network, production from these facilities will be moved to other units with available capacity and more modern equipment, Cascades stated in a press release.

Economic and Community Development Coordinator John Voket expressed disappointment in the departure but was hopeful that the building would find a new tenant.

“It is certainly concerning and disappointing when a good corporate/commercial neighbor and taxpayer makes a corporate decision to shutter its facility in our community,” said Voket. “We were made aware of the news on February 12 and immediately began taking steps to get some answers from Cascades’ local and global offices about any plans for the Newtown facility. As soon as we are able to connect with their representatives, we may be in a position to discuss their departure and future plans for their facility at that time. I understand it has been very well maintained, and I trust if Cascades is not planning to retain it or broker it themselves, it will make a very desirable location for a new owner.”

According to the online assessor's database, the 124,412 square foot building on the southern corner of Schoolhouse Hill and Edmond roads was built in 1969. It is a one-story light industrial style facility.

First Selectman Jeff Capeci said after discussions with the Cascades ownership, he has heard that the Newtown employees will be offered a chance to relocate and stay with the company, but it’s “up to them.”

“I believe they own the facility [at 32 Schoolhouse Hill Road],” said Capeci. “Hopefully they’ll find a new owner. We’re assuming they’ll sell. Hopefully, with [Voket’s] assistance, they’ll find a new tenant and hopefully some of the employees can find employment with the new owners.”

According to the Cascades press release, the annual production capacity of the equipment to be shut down is 175,000 short tons of corrugated medium and 500 million square feet of corrugated packaging. Cascades is committed to maximizing the performance of its assets, and the combination of the current market environment, higher operating costs, aging technology and the need for significant capital investment were the determining factors in the decision to cease operations at the facilities.

The company will record $61 million of impairment and environmental obligation charges associated with these closures in its fourth quarter 2023 financial results and will incur approximately $35 million of additional restructuring charges in the coming years.

“I would like to assure our customers that we will work with them to ensure a smooth transition,” said Charles Malo, president and chief operating officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging. “I would also like to sincerely thank the Cascaders affected by this announcement. We will stand by them through this process, and we will assist in the relocation of those employees wishing to continue working for Cascades at one of our other locations.”

Over the coming weeks, Cascades will work closely with the 310 impacted employees to mitigate, where possible, the effect of the announcement. Employees who cannot or do not wish to relocate to other plants will receive support in their search for other employment.

The Newtown layoffs are set to start on April 12 and continue until the plant is fully closed on April 26.


Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

Scheduled for conclusion by April 26, the closing of the Cascades Containerboard Packaging location in Newtown will affect 71 jobs. —Bee Photos, Hicks
—Bee Photo, Hicks
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1 comment
  1. tomj says:

    It’s sad to see industry leaving town. I feel for the employees. I heard Wharton Industrial approached them. I do think it would make a great Amazon distribution center. Just kidding, I think it should be open space. Eventually, the town will feel the tax burden by not encouraging new businesses to move to town or stay in town. This building pays just over $100k in taxes. The proposed warehouse at exit 9 would have brought in over $400k in taxes… meanwhile, we are worried about a handful of people who have out-of-state plates that cost the town $800 a year in property tax.

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