The city of Saco has agreed to pay association fees it owes the Island Terrace Owner’s Association through September.
In January 2016, the city acquired a 30,000-square-foot portion of a former mill building on Saco Island from the Island Terrace Owners Association in lieu of unpaid taxes. This 30,000-square-foot property is known as Unit 91, and comprises about 25 percent of the Island Terrace complex; the rest of the complex is made up of condominiums.
Members of the Island Terrace Owners Association have asked the city to pay association fees, which hadn’t been paid since the fiscal year began on July 1. City Administrator Kevin Sutherland said the city did not have funds budgeted for the association fees, which are nearly $5,800 a month, as the city had hoped to sell the property by the start of the new fiscal year. Sutherland said his plan was to pay the association any money owed after the property was sold.
Island Terrace Owners Association members have said the absence of the city’s association fees puts them in a difficult spot financially.
Association member David Susman said at a City Council workshop Monday that the city’s decision to withhold association fees was “a loss we just can’t afford.” He said the association was considering replacing a boiler, and it wouldn’t be able to work with a financier to get a bank loan if it wasn’t receiving its monthly fees from Unit 91.
The City Council gave Sutherland the directive to pay up the association dues, and also asked the city to move forward on the sale of the property.
Mayor Ron Michaud expressed frustration at how long it was taking to get to the point where a sale could be completed. “The time has come to put this to bed,” he said.
Sutherland said the city received five proposals late last year from buyers interested in the property, but potential buyers were concerned with easement issues associated with the property.
Sutherland said that now the city has worked to resolve the easement issues, the city would notify those who were interested in the property last year and ask them to submit more solid proposals.