WATERVILLE (AP) – An Arizona developer has sent a letter to Waterville officials threatening to do business elsewhere if the city doesn’t accept his offer to buy the former C.F. Hathaway Co. building.

The handwritten letter from Michael Peloquin states that he is willing to pay $750,000 in cash for the city-owned manufacturing plant.

The letter is dated April 20 and written on stationery with Michael J. Peloquin letterhead at a Paradise Valley, Ariz., address. It was sent to City Solicitor William Lee, and faxed to the Morning Sentinel newspaper and Peloquin’s attorney.

“$750,000 for the building now, or I move the equipment up the road to Dexter,” the letter, signed by Peloquin, states. “My reputation will not be judge (sic) by you or the Waterville Town Council.”

C.F. Hathaway, whose shirts were made famous by the man-with-the-eye-patch logo, manufactured shirts in Waterville for 165 years before it shut down in October. More than 200 workers lost their jobs.

Peloquin, whose company Atlantic Partners LLC has developed residences and office buildings in the Southwest, was moved by the story of Hathaway and decided to try to restart the plant.

City Administrator Ronald Singel said city and Peloquin have exchanged several offers and counteroffers for the city-owned plant.

Peloquin’s first offer last November was $1.3 million for the property. The city’s last proposal was that Peloquin pay $950,000 cash for the property.

But Peloquin offered $750,000 cash, and another $200,000 to be financed by the city over a number of years, he said.

“It just got to the point where councilors said, ‘We don’t want to offer owner-financing on the building,”‘ Singel said.

Peloquin said Tuesday that he proposed paying the city $5,000 a month for the building but the city declined the offer. He said officials also declined his offer of $750,000 cash and $200,000 in financing.

“I could go to Dexter to that old shoe building which is almost the same size as Hathaway … and pay $159,000 for it,” he said in a phone interview. “I’m not trying to be obnoxious here. This town’s giving me nothing.”

Peloquin’s letter to Lee expresses anger that the city would not trust him to pay $200,000 over a time.

“The bottom line here, Mr. Lee, is your trust of me,” the letter states.

AP-ES-04-23-03 1645EDT


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