LINCOLN, Maine — A Connecticut-based auctioneer is advertising the sale of equipment at the shuttered Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill in April, apparently ending attempts to relaunch the facility as a papermaking site.
An advertisement from auctioneer Capital Recovery Group LLC of Enfield posted Wednesday on the company’s website, crgauction.com, lists inspection and sale dates of April 11-14 for more than 50 large pieces of equipment.
The material includes 20 forklifts; fuel boiler transformers; three storage tanks measuring 30,000 gallons, 80,000 gallons and 60,000 gallons; a truck scale capable of weighing up to 200,000 pounds; a 148-foot-tall sawdust distribution tower; steam turbines and a pulp drying system. Inspections will occur on the first two days, with auctions afterward, according to the advertisement.
Messages left with CRG on Wednesday were not immediately returned. Town Council Chairman Steve Clay and Town Manager Ron Weatherbee said they were unaware of the looming auction but were not surprised.
“It is definitely a tough situation with the mill no longer looking to produce,” Weatherbee said Wednesday. “But we will survive. It’s unfortunate, because I had heard unofficially that there were people still looking into buying it [the mill] but obviously nothing came of that.”
CRG, Boston-based Gordon Brothers Commercial & Industrial LLC, Rabin Worldwide of California and PPL Group LLC of Illinois were the asset liquidators that bought the mill’s equipment out of a bankruptcy court auction for $5.95 million in November.
Gordon Brothers officials said at the sale that it would eventually scrap the equipment if it couldn’t find a mill operator. In response, Clay said Lincoln Lakes region residents probably should treat any hopes of the mill restarting with a healthy skepticism.
The November sale came after mill officials said they contacted 169 different companies they felt potentially would have interest in buying it. That resulted in 36 companies signing nondisclosure agreements and an initial bid of $5 million from Los Angeles-based distressed asset investor Reich Brothers.
The consortium has a one-year option to purchase the mill land and buildings for a predetermined price, officials have said.
Gordon Brothers officials never responded to Weatherbee’s attempts to contact them to determine what their intentions were, he said.
Town officials have cut spending to cushion the town against the increase in unemployed people in the area. About 179 workers eventually were laid off by the mill as part of the of the shutdown, which came in November. LPT had sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two months earlier.
Councilors and town department heads began work this month on the town’s 2016-17 budget, Weatherbee said.