Wednesday, 19 December 2018 18:09

Lien stops $30 million Millinocket factory plans Featured

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MILLINOCKET - A North Carolina company that planned to invest $30 million on building a cross-laminate timber factory at the Great Northern Paper mill site has decided to develop elsewhere.

Lignaterra Global LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina announced in February that it wanted to build a 300,000-square foot factory at the old mill property.

Last week they withdrew the plans.

“We're looking forward on the matter even though this is a disappointment that Lignaterra is not looking to work with Our Katahdin to be on the mill site,” said Cody McEwen, Millinocket Town Council chairman.

The hangup is a $1.4 million dollar lien on the mill property that was purchased by Our Katahdin, a local economic development group, for $1 from former owner Cate Street Capital.

“That was debt they incurred with the IRS,” said Steve Sanders, Our Katahdin director of mill site redevelopment. “We assumed it because we wanted to have the property so we could move forward with it. They weren't doing anything with it except demolition, so we wanted to turn it around and go in a positive direction.”

Our Katahdin has made two offers to the IRS to clear up the lien. Both have been declined. The lien prevents the group from tapping millions in federal funds already awarded.

“The lien will free up almost $9 million dollars of funds to be spent on the site over and above what the EDA [U.S. Economic Development Administration] grant provides. So that's our next step to get over.”

He added, “Our biggest mistake was making the announcement too early with that company.”

A Dec. 27 town hall meeting is planned at the Katahdin Higher Education Center in East Millinocket for residents to get their questions answered about the mill's future. Doors open at six. That's a chance

Our Katahdin officials are saying that they are getting the land appraised, then they'll approach the IRS again with another payment offer.

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...