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FRANKLIN -- The International Paper Mill that shut down, devastating the town of Franklin, is reopening in early June as a fluff pulp plant.

Billowing steam could be seen Thursday rising from the paper mill.

'It's just steam, but it's breathing life into the area,' observed Isle of Wight economic development director, Lisa Perry.

The mill was shut down just over two years ago. Now, under new management, workers are testing the systems.

'It's quite a turnaround to be here now and seeing the first signs of activity after quite some time,' Perry said.

When the plant went dark over a year ago, it was a surreal experience, she described. It was a huge economic hit and more than 1,000 people lost their jobs.

'I'll tell you the one thing we've learned through this entire experience is that the people of this community are resilient,' stated Perry.

The numbers are no match. Just over 200 jobs were created with the repurposed plant. There's no word on whether the plant expects to hire any more employees.

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