By AMY GAREIS                                                                                                                                     News-Herald Staff Writer

FREEPORT – A distinctive partnership between state and local entities is helping the 130-year-old Freeport Press continue to thrive, and dignitaries helped usher in expansion plans on Monday.

Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) helped make the announcement during a press conference at the company and toured the facility to learn how more than $6 million in loans and tax credits were being put to use. As the News-Herald previously reported, Freeport Press will add about 40 new jobs over the next three years while retaining 150 current positions after receiving $6,621,000 million in loans and tax credits.

“This company dates back to 1880, and that’s a wonderful thing,” said Strickland. “It’s obvious this company has become the fabric of this community.”

“Coming together and working together…can create economic [opportunities]. I’m also grateful…that in the most difficult of economic times you continue to move forward,” Strickland added.

David Pilcher, company president and CEO, said the company began as a daily newspaper operation in 1880 but today provides printing and digital services, as well as distribution for national publications.

“I’ve had great success with the company,” he said, thanking government, finance and area officials for their continued support. “We were recipients of a Pioneer Loan and USDA [financing], and we’re delighted with the opportunity to get acquainted with the Finance Fund. They put a package together, which was absolutely unique. These are not easy days, particularly in business.”

The funds helped Freeport Press procure a second full-size Komori System 38S heat-set Web printing press at the Main Street facility. The equipment, which should arrive later this year, is identical to a press it received in 2008 that was financed with $6 million in Series 2007 bonds.

Pictured left to right is Finance Fund Executive Director James Klein, U.S. Rep. Zack Space, Gov. Ted Strickland and Freeport Press CEO David Pilcher. NH Photos/Amy Gareis