OXFORD — Dueling bidders raised the price of a gum ball machine to $150 at an auction at the defunct Oxford Aviation.

It was one of hundreds of items, including tools, fabric, office equipment, phone systems and pictures, sold Saturday to recoup money owed by Jim Horowitz of Casco, president of the company he founded in 1989.

Oxford Aviation, with its 60 or so employees, leased space in the Oxford County Regional Airport on Number Six Road behind Oxford Plains Dragway. It painted, refurbished and repaired small- and medium-sized aircraft from across the country before filing for bankruptcy several years ago.

Paul Arsenault Auctioneers of Hebron was commissioned by Community Concepts Finance Corp. of Lewiston to sell the items.

Glen Holmes, executive director of the Western Maine Economical Development Council, said the auction secured approximately $20,000. It will be used to pay Community Concepts Finance Corp.

According to a 2013 lawsuit filed in 11th District Court in Paris, Oxford Aviation failed to make payments on a 1996 loan of $62,500 from the Oxford Hills Growth Council.

Advertisement

Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said Community Concepts Finance Corp. assumed all the debt after the dissolution of the Growth Council. The Internal Revenue Service is also owed money.

In April 2014, Oxford Aviation was served a two-day notice of eviction by Oxford County commissioners. It was the culmination of a six-month legal battle between the company and commissioners, who said Horowitz failed to maintain the building or provide reports as required in the lease agreement.

The airport is compliant with Federal Aviation Administration rules and is still used for landing and refueling. Plans for tenants and a common area have moved slowly since the eviction of Oxford Aviation.

Cole said the building needs at least $500,000 to repair a leaky roof and malfunctioning heating and plumbing systems. A local aviation mechanic has done some work in the hangars and fixed “a few things” in the facility, Cole said. 

“The building is in tough shape,” he said.

[email protected]


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.