TREMONT, Maine — A dispute over payment for materials used in a roofing project on the local school has been settled, according to the town manager.
Millard Billings, Tremont’s town manager, said Monday that the town and Viking Lumber have signed an agreement to settle the matter for $11,000. Viking had placed a lien for $25,692 on the school for the materials.
“It’s been settled,” Billings said. “They [Viking] are doing a release deed on the lien.”
Last fall, Viking, Inc. placed liens on the Tremont school and three other buildings in Maine that had been re-roofed by the same contractor. Blue Hill Consolidated School, the town office in Hancock and a low-income housing building in Skowhegan all had materials on them for which Viking had not been paid, the building supply company alleged.
According to documents filed last fall in the Hancock County Registry of Deeds in Ellsworth, Viking Lumber had placed liens of $5,056.99 on the school in Blue Hill and $4,540.98 on the Hancock town office.
School officials in Tremont have said they hired Darren Stover to do the work and that they paid approximately $46,000 for the project. Stover allegedly led the property owners to believe that he was working for Northeast Facilities Management of Bangor.
But in a letter sent last Nov. 10 to municipal officials, Bangor attorney Seth Harrow indicated that the management company had no involvement with the alleged lack of payment to Viking Lumber.
“I write to inform you that my client, Northeast Facilities Management Inc., had nothing to do with this situation and it is our opinion it has been wrongly associated with this situation due to fraud perpetuated by a Darren Stover,” Harrow wrote in the letter. “My client essentially does landscaping and plowing. It does not perform nor has it ever done roofing work.”
According to Harrow, Stover may have falsely indicated to Viking that he was associated with Northeast Facilities Management in order to be approved for a line of credit by the lumber company.
Harrow said Monday that Stover never worked for his client and that NFM had no knowledge of the roofing projects until Viking sought payment for the materials it had given Stover.
“No one has found him,” Harrow said.
Attempts to find contact information for Stover for possible comment on this dispute have been unsuccessful.
Harrow’s letter suggests that, aside from the Tremont school, Viking also sought payment for materials used in projects at the Hancock town office, the school in Blue Hill and Mountain View Terrace Building No. 11 in Skowhegan. Aside from officials in Blue Hill, Hancock and Tremont, Harrow addressed his letter to Propsys Property Management in Lewiston, which owns the Skowhegan housing complex where a building was re-roofed.
According to officials, Stover disappeared after the work was completed and payment was made and has not been heard from since.
Gary Hunt, first selectman for the town of Hancock, said Monday that Hancock also has settled with Viking. He said the town paid Viking $2,700 “and change” last week for the roofing materials. The town is happy with the work that Stover did, he said.
Hunt said that, even including the payment to Viking, the money the town spent on re-roofing the town office is less than the second-lowest bid for the job that was submitted to the town last summer. He said the new roof has cost about $11,700.
Hunt said that when the project went out to bid last summer, Stover submitted a bid to the town on the property management firm’s letterhead and provided them with a copy of the company’s certificate of insurance.
“We didn’t have any indication there was anything wrong” until Viking placed a mechanic’s lien on the town office, Hunt said.
Susan Michaud Bosse of Propsys Property Management in Lewiston said Monday that her firm also has settled with Viking over the cost of the materials installed on a building at Mountain View Terrace in Skowhegan.
She declined further comment and referred other questions to the company’s attorney, Travis Rackliffe of Bangor.
Separate phone messages left Monday for Rackliffe and for Viking’s attorney, Gregory Dorr of Bangor, were not returned. Attempts Monday to contact Mark Hurvitt, superintendent of schools in Blue Hill and surrounding towns, also were unsuccessful.
Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter at on Twitter at @billtrotter.