Milo IGA avoids eviction, at least for now

Posted Dec. 02, 2010, at 12:37 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT — The landlord of the Milo Farmers Union, which operates an IGA grocery store in Milo, has agreed to give his tenant until March 15 either to purchase the property or leave the premises.

The Claude N. Trask Agency Inc. of Milo, which owns the building in which the farmers union operates the grocery store, had filed a forcible entry and detainer complaint that was to have been heard Thursday in Dover-Foxcroft District Court. Farmers union officials, who had no lease on the property, were served an eviction notice earlier this year. Thursday’s hearing would have commenced action for a court order compelling the eviction of Milo’s oldest business.

Before the hearing, however, representatives of both parties attended a court-ordered mediation session during which the agreement was reached.

Attorney Ed Gould of Bangor, who represented the Trask Agency, said the agreement gives both parties time to work out a mutual agreement or resolution.

“I’m optimistic to a point,” Eben DeWitt, the farmers union president, said outside the courtroom. He said the union now has four months to negotiate with the landlord.

DeWitt said the Trask Agency presented a last-minute offer Wednesday night for the purchase of the property, an offer that came too late to be considered before the hearing.

“The Milo Farmers Union has operated in Milo for 93 years and it is their sincere hope to operate there for another 93 years,” the defendant’s attorney, Seth Harrow of Bangor, said outside the courtroom.

DeWitt said last month that the Trask Agency, which owns considerable stock in the farmers union, wants the IGA evicted so that Tradewinds, which operates three supermarkets in the state, can open in that location. He acknowledged that the farmers union has had no lease since 1996. Before that, the union had a 20-year lease with two five-year options. Those options were never executed, DeWitt said, because an official with the Trask Agency told directors not to worry about it.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — An agreement signed Thursday between the Claude N. Trask Agency Inc. of Milo and the Milo Farmers Union will stave off the eviction of the Union’s IGA grocery store until March 15.

Representatives of both the agency and the union held a court-ordered mediation session Thursday in District Court before the agreement was reached.

The agency, which owns the property and building in which the farmers union operates its IGA store, had filed a forcible entry and detainer complaint because the union did not have a lease and has not had one for years. An eviction notice was previously given to the union and a scheduled court hearing Thursday was to have been the commencement of an action to get a court order compelling the eviction.

Before the hearing was held, however, presiding Judge Kevin Stitham asked that both parties attend a mediation session.

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