BUCKSPORT, Maine — After coming to a halt earlier this month, demolition work at the former Verso Paper mill has yet to resume, according to a town official.
Work on tearing down the buildings at the defunct mill ceased in early March after the former demolition contractor, DeNovo Constructors, failed to pay subcontractors for work they had done at the mill, which shut down in December 2014.
Rich Rotella, Bucksport’s community and economic development director, said Friday that the backhoes have not gotten back to work tearing down buildings at the 250-acre waterfront property.
“As far as I know, it is because they do not [yet] have a new contractor,” Rotella said.
AIM Development, a subsidiary of Montreal-based scrap metal dealer American Iron & Metal, has been looking for the past couple of weeks for a new general contractor to take over the demolition project. AIM Development acquired the property from Verso last year for $58 million.
Attempts this month to contact Jeff McGlin, AIM’s vice president for development, have been unsuccessful.
Rotella said town officials still are optimistic that the demolition project will be completed by the summer of 2017. The town set a completion timeline in the demolition permit that it issued to AIM last fall.
As part of the requirements of its demolition permit, AIM has posted two bonds totaling $4.5 million to ensure that the project will be completed.
AIM officials have not indicated what it will do with the site once the mill is demolished, but they have suggested they likely will try to redevelop it, as they are trying to do with another former Verso mill in Sartell, Minnesota. They have said they will not use the site as a permanent metal recycling facility.