EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — East Millinocket and Millinocket town leaders had no comment after meeting Thursday to discuss a San Francisco investor’s attempt to secure property tax breaks from the towns as it seeks to buy two Katahdin region paper mills for $1.
The 1½-hour meeting occurred in the basement banquet area of the town office building and featured members of the Millinocket Town Council and East Millinocket Board of Selectmen.
Meriturn signed a letter of intent to purchase the paper mills in East Millinocket and Millinocket from Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto by April 29 provided several conditions were met, including reaching a labor agreement.
If the deal collapses, Brookfield has said it would close the East Millinocket mill on April 22, eliminating about 450 jobs. Restarting the Millinocket mill, which closed in 2008, reportedly would create about 200 jobs.
Under Meriturn’s first proposition to get an estimated $48 million in tax breaks over 10 years from both towns, the East Millinocket mill’s tax bill would decline from $2.1 million to about $46,800 in annual payments to the town starting in the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Millinocket would see a decline from $2.6 million to about $50,000, Millinocket Town Manager Eugene Conlogue has said.
The towns have since made a counteroffer to Meriturn, but officials have declined to provide details.