Greenwood selectmen last week voted to waive foreclosure on a one-acre parcel of PCB-contaminated land next to the Saunders Brothers Mill on Main Street.

The mill has been shut down since last summer, although owner Louise Jonaitis of Portland said as recently as October she planned to re-open it this year.

In 2010 Jonaitis had put the contaminated parcel under ownership of a second company in order to complete her purchase of the mill at that time. The company is known as “Greenwood Park Lands.”

Without the arrangement the contaminated land, formerly a dump site for paints and other chemicals at the mill, would have threatened the sale of the mill property.

The town has been sending foreclosure notices to Jonaitis for unpaid taxes in 2011. The taxes total $12.82, according to Town Manager Kim Sparks.

But the town does not want to take on responsibility for the contaminated parcel, and under state law has the right to waive foreclosing on it.


“This is one I know we’ll never get paid and I don’t want the town to own it,” said Sparks.

By waiving foreclosure and placing the record of it with the Registry of Deeds for Oxford County, the town can avoid becoming automatic owners of the land, she said.

“It remains [Greenwood Park Lands] property,” said Sparks.

The town has also been sending foreclosure notices to Jonaitis for the mill property itself for nonpayment of 2011 taxes, she said. Over the past three years a total of about $15,000 is owed, according to Sparks.

“No one’s heard anything from her, period,” she said. “If she’s not serious about it, then let’s find someone who will be, instead of leaving it empty, because that doesn’t help anybody.”

Jonaitis and her business partners started out manufacturing rolling pins and assembling Moosehead Furniture components previous manufactured in Monmouth. Her recent plan for reopening the mill called for overall production to be about 60 percent furniture and 40 percent wood dowels. Most recently 15 people were employed there.


Before buying the Greenwood mill at auction, Jonaitis had been part of other business ventures including the purchase of the Moosehead Furniture brand, the Ethan Allen mill in Andover and Plumbago Mountain in Newry, where a large tourmaline deposit was found in 2004.

Records in Newry show real estate transfers relating to property foreclosure involving Jonaitis that took place last August.

Real estate transfer documents show Jonaitis’ signature to transfer 1,812 acres from Plumbago Timber & Quarries, LLC and Robert A. Brown, LLC to “Ubrichto” of Freeport, with a notation “deed in lieu of foreclosure.”

Another transfer shows Jonaitis’ signature for a similar transfer of 120 acres from the Newry-Dunton Tourmaline Mining, LLC to Northeast Trading Corp. also of Freeport, and showing the same address as Ubrichto.

Jonaitis could not be reached for comment on the issues by press time.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: