EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Town leaders have named Angela Cote the town’s new administrative assistant to replace retired assistant Shirley Tapley, officials said Tuesday.
The Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 on Monday to upgrade Cote from interim administrative assistant while also opting not to fill the utility clerk’s position she held. Cote will do both jobs and continue to draw part of her salary from the town’s Water Department accounts, Chairman Mark Scally said.
“The amount of work she is putting in after the 90-day interim review warranted it,” Scally said Tuesday. “We were very impressed with the job she is doing. She came up with this idea of restructuring the position and it is a win-win for everybody. The job she is doing requires a lot more work because she has a lot more responsibilities now than she had.”
Cote will be paid $45,012 annually for both jobs. Her previous salary as a clerk was $29,120. Tapley, who retired about three months ago, was paid $43,964 in salary plus $5,892 in department revenues, Cote said.
“My reaction is that I am pleased to continue. I look forward to working on the challenges that are facing the community,” Cote said Tuesday.
Town leaders await the results of a bankruptcy auction of the former Great Northern Paper Co. LLC mill on Main Street on Dec. 2. They have pressed Gov. Paul LePage and the bankruptcy trustee, attorney Pasquale J. “Pat” Perrino, to select from the 12 potential bidders a buyer who would restart the mill, which was the town’s largest single employer and taxpayer. Under federal bankruptcy law, Perrino can pick a bidder that he feels best suits creditors and the state.
Perrino has said that eight potential bidders would scrap the mill. Four others would operate it. The mill’s closure in late January idled all but a handful of maintenance workers out of its 256-member staff. Cote said she is working on assembling a grant application that would pay for an assessment of the town’s secondary waste water treatment options.
A loan from the auction’s stalking-horse bidder is paying for the continued treatment of town waste water by the mill. The town might need to find a replacement waste water treatment facility operator should the mill be sold for scrap, town officials have said.
The grant would also pay for an assessment of whether it would be profitable for the town to treat leachate from the Dolby landfill, which the mill had once operated, Cote said.
“A lot of this is contingent upon whether there is an operator for the mill,” Cote said. “Right now we are just looking at the short term and getting past this month. These next few weeks will determine where the town heads.”