April 02, 2020
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Council OKs items to boost mill redevelopment

OLD TOWN – In a list of agenda items to help propel the redevelopment of the former Georgia-Pacific Corp. mill, city councilors voted Monday to loan no more than $230,000 to Red Shield Environmental LLC, the company slated to purchase and redevelop the mill facility.

The council unanimously approved all agenda items, with Councilor Lisa Morin absent.

“[The Council voted to] loan $230,000 to help close this deal and fund in the immediate future the taxes owed to the city,” City Manager Peggy Daigle said Monday after a two-hour executive session of the council.

“In return, we’re going to have some repayment terms and conditions with Red Shield so that the city gets that money back in some form or another,” she said.

Some of the funds will be returned in the form of the Earland Sleight Training Center, a former school owned by G-P that will be sold to Red Shield as part of the deal. Red Shield then will transfer the building to the city.

The city possibly could use the center as a future site for city hall, or as an economic development location for businesses, Daigle explained.

The council also authorized the city manager to execute a three-way leachate disposal agreement with Juniper Ridge Landfill operator Casella Waste Systems Inc. and Red Shield.

As part of a previous agreement between the state and Casella, any owner of the G-P property would be required to treat rainwater runoff from the landfill at the mill’s water treatment facility.

“Red Shield can’t treat [the leachate] because it’s not generating enough flow in order to be able to operate it efficiently,” Daigle said.

The plan is for Red Shield to pay the city the extra cost of chemicals to treat the leachate at the city’s water treatment plant for a temporary period – two to four years.

The city has the capacity to treat the wastewater, but has plans to conduct a study to ensure that there is no adverse impact to the city or its infrastructure.

“It’s not for a long-term period of time,” Daigle said, noting that Red Shield is expected to increase the wastewater flows at the site.

A third agenda item will allow Daigle to modify the existing host community benefits agreement with Casella to help fund Great Works Development LLC.

The limited liability corporation is the vehicle that the municipality has formed to further its economic development endeavors and diversify the local economy.

Casella pays the city community benefit in an attempt to compensate for the potential negative effects of having the landfill located in the municipality.

The agreement will require Casella to pay a certain percentage of community benefit to the city, and the remaining percentage to Great Works. That percentage has not yet been decided.

The final item approved Monday by the council is an attempt to protect residents from losing tax revenue G-P owes by ensuring that the personal property taxes will be paid.

“We’re looking for assurances that personal property taxes will be paid by G-P on anything that G-P retains,” Daigle said.

The mill sale is expected to be finalized at a closing sometime this week.


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