Berlin, NH Hopes For Economic Turnaround

11/30/99 12:00AM

The city of Berlin, New Hampshire, is on the cusp of crawling out of its steep economic woes.

People are pinning hope on a new federal prison's $20 million payroll and a biomass plant that promises to resuscitate the logging industry when it opens late next year.

But lifelong residents of this once-thriving mill city temper hope with caution. This year, job losses outpaced new hires, and the hope is that may be about to change.

The prison has just 100 of over 340 anticipated workers in place. And the revived Gorham Paper and Tissue Mill is hiring again.

Corrections officers transferring to the area are beginning to buy homes and spend into the local economy. And just last week, developers announced plans to build a downtown hotel.

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