Millinocket Town Council calls special meeting with attorney Tuesday to discuss GNP tax nonpayment

Age and the work done by excavators is apparent at the Great Northern Paper Co. LLC site in Millinocket as seen on Monday, June 16, 2014.
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Age and the work done by excavators is apparent at the Great Northern Paper Co. LLC site in Millinocket as seen on Monday, June 16, 2014. Buy Photo
Posted July 22, 2014, at 3:11 p.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — The Town Council will meet behind closed doors at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss Great Northern Paper Co.’s failure pay all of its approximately $1.18 million net personal property tax bill, officials said.

The agenda for the meeting lists one item, an executive session conference call with an attorney representing the town. The order the council will vote on deciding whether to permit the executive session cites as its purpose “to consult with the Town Attorney concerning legal rights and duties of the Town Council regarding contemplated legal action.”

Town Council Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. said he expects councilors to discuss “the whole process” of debt collection and the situation with GNP and Koster Industries. The town’s top taxpayer, GNP hired Koster to auction GNP equipment from its Katahdin Avenue industrial site on June 17 to pay taxes owed to Millinocket and the Internal Revenue Service, but Koster has paid only $358,000 to the town to date.

“We will talk to the lawyers and see what our next path forward is,” Angotti said Tuesday.

Town Manager Peggy Daigle said she doesn’t expect any votes or actions to be taken after the session. She hopes that town leaders will emerge from the meeting with a strategy for dealing with the delinquency.

“I just want the council to be fully informed as to what its options are,” Daigle said.

Koster made a $133,500 payment Friday and a $225,000 payment on July 3. It failed to make a $340,000 payment on July 8, a $360,000 payment on July 14 and the rest was due on Monday, the payment schedule states.

Tax collector Lorene Cyr said Tuesday that she was unaware of any recent payment made by the company.

Daigle has expressed concern that GNP’s failure to pay by now would have created a cash crisis, but said Tuesday that the town is doing “surprisingly well” considering the nonpayment. Thanks partly to state education aid and revenue sharing, the town has slightly more than $1 million in its reserve accounts and will be setting a property tax rate next month, she said.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates

 

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