Development money to help IP convert to gas - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Development money to help IP convert to gas

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More than 80 projects across northern New York are getting a financial boost.

For the second year in a row, 10 regions of the state competed for their share of economic development money. The North Country is getting $90 million. Along with expanding broadband into the Adirondacks, another big project will spend $2 million to help International Paper in Ticonderoga convert its mill to natural gas. The company says the move will save millions in energy costs.

"In economic development it can't just be about announcements of something new you're bringing in, because you've got to pay attention to the big employers you have and their needs. And IP is a hugely important one, not only for the 600 jobs on site, but the estimated 600 suppliers including from the wood products business in the Adirondacks, supplying them with raw material that are dependent on that plant," said Garry Douglas, the president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

IP has signed a deal with Vermont Gas to build a pipeline under Lake Champlain. The company says it hopes to have the mill running on natural gas in about two years. But that project still has a long permitting process ahead.

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