Cate Street spars with Millinocket over mill tax lien

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Tensions continue to heat up in Millinocket over millions of dollars the town is owed in unpaid property taxes.

Last week the town filed a tax lien against Great Northern Paper West for unpaid taxes on equipment at the old Millinocket paper mill. The mill has been closed since 2008 and for years it's been in the process of being torn down.

Cate Street Capital manages the site and is looking to auction off some of the equipment in the coming weeks. Company officials say they need to do that to make way for Thermogen, which is a new pellet mill they're looking to build on the site.

Yet town officials say until they get the more than $2 million the town is owed no sales are going to happen.

Millinocket files lien for unpaid taxes on old mill equipment

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Tough financial times for Millinocket are now forcing leaders here to take drastic steps.

The town has now filed a roughly $2.2 million tax lien against GNP West Inc, which is the company working off of the old Millinocket paper mill site. Town officials argue the $2.2 million is owed to Millinocket for unpaid taxes on valuable equipment at the mill site.

Cate Street Capital, which manages GNP West,was looking to auction off some of the equipment, including an old paper machine. The mill itself has been closed since 2008 and under Cate Street parts of it are in the process of being torn down. At this point Millinocket leaders say they still have not collected another $2 million in unpaid property taxes on the site.

Millinocket likely to experience more budget cuts due to mill demolition

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Town leaders say the community may again soon have to bear some tough budget cutbacks. Officials say they are going to have to find a way to trim up to $3 million from Millinocket's municipal and school budgets over the next two years.

Leaders say the cuts are likely to happen because of the loss of an iconic image in the town. Crews have been tearing down parts of the old Millinocket paper mill for months. The mill has been closed since 2008 but officials say it still makes up a big portion of the town's tax base.

Town leaders say now because of the demolition and the loss of equipment at the mill, the value of the site is going to drop significantly. That in turn will mean less tax money coming into the town in the years ahead.

Financial woes in Millinocket threaten annual salute to late vets

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Tough financial times over the years has left the town of Millinocket pursuing many avenues to cut costs. Yet recently one decision made by town leaders caused quite an uproar, as they decided to eliminate funding to place small flags on the graves of veterans.

Veterans groups in Millinocket take on the project each Memorial Day weekend at the town cemetery. Organizers say they lay hundreds of flags on graves and in years past Millinocket has paid for all of them.

However at times this year it looked like that would not be the case. Town officials say no money was set aside for the flags when leaders were putting together their budget last year. Now after getting a lot of negative feedback from the public officials have passed some funding for the project.

State experts closely watching winter moth for potential crop impact

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- After a long winter many farmers across Maine might have to deal with a tiny pest this spring.

State officials are trying to determine what impact 'winter moths' could have. The bugs were first detected in Maine two years ago after causing years of problems down in Massachusetts.

Pest experts say the moths lay their eggs near the buds of many plants including ones that can bear fruit. Then once those eggs hatch in the spring, the new moths feed off of the buds themselves.

State officials say this bug has caused noticeable damage to crops in the past. This year Maine's department of agriculture, conservation and forestry is still conducting tests to see how many there might be.

Cate Street Capital will receive a $16 million bond, not a $25 million bond.

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The company looking to build a pellet mill in the Katahdin region suffered a major setback Thursday.

The Finance Authority of Maine board voted 8-5 to decrease a $25 million dollar bond to finance the project, down to $16 million. The board cited concerns about the amount of collateral.

Cate Street Capital, the company behind the mill project, said they were disappointed in the reduction and are unsure how the decreased money will affect the project.

'Thermogen' project in Millinocket faces uncertain future

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A project that many hoped would bring jobs back to Millinocket now faces an uncertain fate as officials in Maine will once again have to consider whether they should approve state taxpayer-backed financing for the project

The Thermogen project has been years in the making for the town. 'Cate Street Capital,' which is the company that owns the site of the old Millinocket paper mill, has been looking to build the new plant since 2011.

'Cate Street' wants to make energy rich wood pellets called 'biocoal' on the site of the old mill. Yet now changes to the plant's production model could put it's funding in jeopardy.