09/14/2011 03:33 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:20 EST

Group set up after paper mill closure gets federal cash for legal, media advice

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - A municipal committee formed after NewPage announced it was closing its paper mill in Cape Breton is getting money from Ottawa for legal and media advice.

The committee chairman, Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean, says the federal funding is much needed as they study the mill's future.

MacLean says a media adviser helps him filter information -- a task he says is invaluable.

He says $20,000 a month is available for the legal and media services for the next three or four months.

The mill in Point Tupper, N.S., has been struggling financially and was given court protection from creditors last week.

One paper machine at the mill was shut down indefinitely last weekend and a second machine is scheduled to be halted on Friday.

The closures will leave a total of 600 NewPage employees out of work, along with roughly 400 forestry workers who supply the mill.

But the provincial government has announced a wood supply plan in an effort to keep the forestry workers employed.