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The conference committee also will take up support for Canton, where the unexpected closure of the papermill will impact the town, the county, the school system, and the community college for at least the next five years.

About $60 million is needed to address just the most critical needs and begin the economic recovery, according to local sources. Currently, Pactiv Evergreen, the owner of the mill, provides wastewater treatment, and at least $35 million will be needed to build a new wastewater treatment center.

Haywood Community College needs one-time capital funding of $6 million for the third and final phase of renovations to the Workforce and Industry Training Center, which will provide access to high-quality training opportunities for high-wage, in-demand careers in Haywood County and western North Carolina.

The additional funding needed for Canton would stabilize the town, county, school system, and community college over the biennium, while the future of the site becomes clear.

Workers at the mill also are facing a health care coverage crisis as previously reported.

The closing of the mill hits this town even harder because it was unanticipated and comes on the heels of 100-year historic flooding.

There are two representatives on the compromise budget committee that represent Haywood County, Sens. Kevin Corbin and Ralph Hise. You can read all of EdNC’s reporting on Canton here.

These are the sources EdNC checks every day: The New York Times, The 74, Education Week, The NC Tribune, The Insider, The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, WUNC, WFAE, Brookings, Education Commission of the States, and DPI’s News. A cross section of diverse sources are checked weekly and monthly. If you have an article you think needs to be included, email [email protected].

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.

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