Millinocket leaders, GNP scheduled to meet Monday to discuss tax payment agreement

The Katahdin Avenue industrial park in Millinocket is a shell of what it was in this picture taken on May 4, 2014. The stripping down of the former mill site is part of a Great Northern Paper Co. LLC effort to revitalize the East Millinocket paper mill and start a $140 specialized pellet mill in the park.
Courtesy of Jon Campbell
The Katahdin Avenue industrial park in Millinocket is a shell of what it was in this picture taken on May 4, 2014. The stripping down of the former mill site is part of a Great Northern Paper Co. LLC effort to revitalize the East Millinocket paper mill and start a $140 specialized pellet mill in the park.
Posted June 16, 2014, at 11:51 a.m.
Last modified June 16, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Town leaders may have a deal to settle the delinquent tax payment of Millinocket’s largest single taxpayer and will discuss it at a special meeting on Monday, according to the agenda for a special town council meeting.

A “tentative agenda” emailed by a town official on Monday lists the special meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the town office. It lists “GNP West, LLC-Cate Street Capital, Inc. Tax Payment Agreement” as its sole item.

Town leaders and Cate Street Capital have been apparently working out an agreement in executive sessions that would satisfy the town’s need for about a $2.3 million property tax payment from GNP for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which ends June 30. One meeting in Augusta included Gov. Paul LePage, Cate Street officials and Millinocket leaders.

Cate Street is the New Hampshire investor that bought the East Millinocket and Millinocket paper mills for $1 in 2011 and established Great Northern Paper Co. LLC to operate them. Cate Street also hopes to launch a $140 million pellet mill at a Katahdin Avenue industrial park in Millinocket owned by GNP West through another company it created, Thermogen Industries LLC.

Millinocket officials announced May 27 that they had filed a lien seeking $2.24 million on May 21 from Great Northern Paper Co. LLC. Great Northern Paper also owes East Millinocket about $657,900 in delinquent property taxes for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Also East Millinocket’s largest taxpayer, Great Northern Paper owes at least $6.8 million in unpaid taxes and other debts, according to a liens listing at the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds.

No new liens or lien settlements had been filed by the towns against GNP East or West as of Monday morning.

GNP is due to auction its Millinocket papermaking equipment on June 19.

Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on Monday.

East Millinocket leaders have not said whether they would file a lien or take other corrective action against GNP. East Millinocket Tax Collector Erica Ingalls did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on Monday.

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