Excavators raze part of the East Millinocket paper mill site in 2017. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN

A new round of grants announced this week will help a handful of Maine mill towns repurpose their former manufacturing sites for new businesses.

Millinocket, Lincoln and Ashland will receive $20,000 each, while East Millinocket and Madison will receive $30,000 each to fund projects such as engineering and site planning studies and offset state permit costs as each town continues repurposing former mill and manufacturing sites for new businesses.

The Northern Border Regional Commission and Maine Rural Development Authority provided the grant funds through a program that has doled out $1.2 million to help Maine transition from traditional timber products like paper and revitalize the state’s forest economy.