The city is far from alone in being owed money by Old Town Fuel and Fiber, with liens and attachments on property having been filed in recent weeks by businesses totaling more than $2.7 million.

Last week, city officials took action to protect the interests of taxpayers by filing personal property tax liens against the mill, which shuttered a month ago. At the time, mill officials said employees were being furloughed, rather than laid off – a description that would imply the shutdown is not permanent.

But with the pulp and paper industry as a whole in Maine staggering in recent years due to the pressure of foreign competition and energy costs that are higher than in warmer climes, there is reason to be skeptical that the mill will ever open again. And in the even it doesn’t, city officials want to be sure that it protects the interests of taxpayers; as a result personal property tax liens of more than $1 million have been filed, which would mean that, should equipment be removed from the mill and sold, the city would have a right to file a claim for any proceeds. The city also is owed back property taxes of more than $500,000 for last year, with another $500,000 due this week; liens for those taxes cannot yet be filed.

While OTFF officials were touting rosy prospects for the mill as recently as this past winter, it hadn’t been paying at least some of its bills for many months. According to documents on file at the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds, liens and attachments against the mill, not including those of the city, have been filed totaling in the past month for more than $2 million. Those filings include everything from an unpaid city sewer bill for $142 to $750,741 owed to Milo Chip LLC. The list of companies that as of last Friday had filed liens or attachments included the following:

AW Madden Inc, of Milford: $78,965.

CCB Inc. of Old Town – two claims, $90,795 and $98,683.

Dead River Company of Portland: $8,304.

Keith W. Mitchell and Son of Sherman: $49,038.

Marston Industrial Services of Fairfield: $118,428.

Milo Chip LLC: $750,141

Portage Wood Products of Portage Lake: $658,771.

Pottle’s Transportation Inc. of Hermon: 2,870.

PTI Warehousing of Hermon: $37,429.

Richard Carrier Trucking of Skowhegan: $551,557.

Sevee & Maher Engineers Inc. of Cumberland: $77,471.

Schaefer Rolls of Farmington, NH: $91,001

Sullivan and Merritt Constructor of Hermon: two claims, $157,610 and $130,961.

There have been hopes that the mill’s owners, Patriarch Partners, of New York City, will be able to restructure or sell Old Town Fuel and Fiber. Patriarch, however, has not commented publicly on the mill closure or its future, not even acknowledging contacts by the media. Nor has Patriarch made any mention of the mill closure on its webpage, which contains little news on any of the companies holdings and is instead devoted to stories on its CEO, Lynn Tilton – with Patriarch’s last news release being on Aug. 8, when it was announced that Tilton was to receive a tennis award.


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