Reading Dennis Shaughnessey’s story in last Sunday’s Sun about Frank Gorman and the chapter 11 bankruptcy involving the Beaver Brook Mill, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that there were no winners.
Gorman lost everything he worked years to build up. Some of the creditors may never fully recover from the financial hit they and their families took.
But the redevelopment of the Beaver Brook Mill does have another story to tell, and one that has a very big winner.
Ask anyone who served on the Board of Selectmen in the last 30 years and they will tell you that part of our town had become a huge decaying mass on their front door, one that was usually talked about when the subject of public-safety concerns came up.
The former owner did his best, but the economics of renting mill space in a residential community never generated enough revenue to make any real upgrades to the building. It never looked promising.
Over the years, many different uses were explored. Lots of start-up industrial and commercial businesses had their beginning at the Mill, along with my personal favorite retailer at the time, Sampson’s. It was an early version of Wal-Mart, and had a great selection of everything, including some fabulous pinball games in the entrance.
Today, the people of Collinsville and the town of Dracut have a great asset that presents itself as a beautifully redeveloped gateway to that part of town.
The Mill once again adds to residential property values, provides employment and housing opportunities, as well as fine dining and other local services.
The Mill is back, and although many suffered serious financial setbacks, the project will have a lasting positive impact on the town.
Dracut cable TV’s Pete Wilde will host a benefit for the American Cancer Society on Jan. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Dracut American Legion Hall on Route 113. Entertainment will be provided by Kimberly Pilsbury, New England regional vocalist-of-the-year. This should be a great time and Wilde reports that 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the American Cancer Society. The donation is $5. See you there.
Warren Shaw is a former Dracut selectman who hosts a popular Saturday morning radio show on WCAP-AM from 6 to 10 a.m.