EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — The state has agreed for yet another year to defer collecting about $153,000 in funds the town owes for the renovation of the town-owned shell building, town officials said.
An agreement with the state Department of Economic and Community Development will give the town a year to find a building occupant, Administrative Assistant Shirley Tapley said.
The money was from Community Development Block Grant funds that paid for the town’s engineering studies and for some building construction that helped finish the structure in 2006.
Under an arrangement with DECD, the town will owe $30,000 in July 2010, Tapley said.
One of the largest buildings in the town industrial park off Route 157, it is called the shell building because for many years it was just walls and a roof.
Porter’s Woodworking Co. moved into the building in mid-2006. The company came to East Millinocket after a fire on July 20, 2005, destroyed a mill that included a planer and woodcutter, plus paddle-making machinery and a wood laminator at the company’s former location on Shin Pond Road in Patten.
The company closed about two years ago. Most, if not all, of its equipment has been sold, Tapley said.
At least three other businesses own or use space within the 19-lot industrial park, which features electricity and sewer connections and close access to Route 157 and Interstate 95. The lots range from 0.895 to 6.12 acres.
At one point the town hoped to get the building leased for about $2,200 a month. The building features three-stage electrical power, radiant floor heat, a separate wood finishing room, office space and bathrooms and is within 50 feet of a freight rail line.
Magic, an economic development agency that at one point worked for East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket, showed the space to several interested businesses but never got a tenant. Magic no longer works for the town, Tapley said.