Published Date Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – After six months as acting head of the Local Government Center, George Bald has returned to Cate Street Capital. Local officials could not be happier to see the former long-time commissioner of the N.H. Department of Resources and Development back working for the developer of Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin.
Bald yesterday said he will be taking some vacation time but is resuming his duties at Cate Street Capital where one of his main tasks is attracting new businesses to the 62-acre former mill site.
The biomass plant, which is scheduled to begin operating by the end of the year, uses about 30 acres of the site. Bald said Cate Street Capital President John Halle has charged him with looking for businesses to co-locate on the property to take advantage of the steam generated by the biomass plant. He said Halle has also asked him to look for other business opportunities in the North Country for Cate Street Capital.
Bald said Halle has a real positive feel for the North Country and is interested in creating new economic opportunities and jobs here.
Bald will also do some work for Cate Street Capital in Maine where the company has purchased the Great Northern mill in East Millinocket.
Bald is no stranger to the Berlin and Gorham area and Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier cited his work to save the local paper mills and negotiating the agreement that allowed Cate Street Capital to go forward with the biomass plant.
Grenier said he is very excited Bald is returned to Cate Street Capital to focus on the Berlin site and North Country.
"With George's focus," he said, "only good things can happen."
Coos County delegation Chair Rep. Robert Theberge of Berlin noted that Bald is well known to state and local officials and has worked with two governors.
"It's extremely positive George is coming to help us find new businesses for our area," Theberge said.
Bald retired last November after 13 years as DRED commissioner and took a job with Cate Street Capital. But shortly after his hiring by Cate Street Capital, Bald was asked to take over as interim executive director of the embattled Local Government Center for six months. He took a leave of absence from Cate Street Capital and accepted the position at the LGC in February. His six months ended last week and he is back at Cate Street Capital.
Bald served three terms as mayor of Somersworth starting in 1978 and then served as economic development director and later as city manager for Rochester. During his tenure in Rochester, the city gained over one million square feet of new manufacturing space and created 4,000 new manufacturing jobs. He became executive director of Pease Development Authority in 1994 and assisted in turning the old Air Force base into a world class business park.