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North Country

Ohio Fish Farm Eyes Former Groveton Paper Mill

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A Midwestern company specializing in fish farming is hoping to franchise its business on the site of a former paper mill in Groveton.

Earlier this year Groveton voters approved borrowing $400,000 to provide water and sewage to the mill site mill.

The water and sewer improvements at Groveton are contingent on getting about $600,000 in federal funds.

But if that comes through the site would be a good spot for an indoor fish farm, says Traci Bell, the owner of Ripple Rock Fish Farms, which raises tilapia in Ohio.

Bell says there is a good source of clean water – the Upper Ammonoosuc River, which is adjacent to the former mill.

And, it is in a good spot geographically.

“New Hampshire would be an ideal location. There are actually several large seafood markets in proximity, one of which is Toronto,” she says.

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The paper mill was the economic heart of Groveton for years but was killed off by foreign competition. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR.

Bell says a facility could start with around eight to 10 workers.

Ripple Rock is looking for someone to buy a franchise for a New England regional center in Groveton.

Ideally that center would then license fish farms to others in the area and show them how a fish farm works, Bell says, because a co-op style arrangement would provide advantages when it comes to purchasing supplies and selling.

A furniture factory currently housed in Berlin has also promised to move to Groveton if the mill gets the needed improvements.

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