JAY — Verso Corp.’s announcement Wednesday to permanently shut down a second paper machine and associated equipment as of Aug. 1 will cause further reductions in the town and the Androscoggin Mill’s valuations in 2018-19, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

Both valuations are expected to drop this year because the company temporarily idled the No. 3 paper machine, digester and boiler prior to April 1. Values of both are also expected to be reduced again next year because the machine and equipment are permanently being shut down.

There was hope the machine would be restarted, LaFreniere said Thursday.

When Verso applied to the state for a wastewater discharge permit for 51 million gallons per day of treated pulp and paper process water to go into the Androscoggin River earlier this month, it was for three machines, she said.

Those hopes were dashed Wednesday.

Along with the machine and equipment, Verso will permanently eliminate 120 jobs. The people who held those jobs were laid off in January but are now eligible for severance pay. This follows a permanent elimination of about 300 jobs in late 2015.


When the No. 3 machine was idled, Jay assessors planned to have the mill reassessed, LaFreniere said.

The reassessment is necessary as future production levels likely decrease when a machine is temporarily idled, she said.

“We anticipate the valuation will decrease for 2017 due to the idling of No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment,” LaFreniere said. “We anticipate the valuation to further decrease for 2018 due to (Wednesday’s) announcement of permanently shutting down No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment.”

Since 2014, the mill’s valuation has dropped from $815.4 million to a total value of $357.9 million in 2016.

The town is waiting for its contracted industrial appraisers to submit its newest valuation of the mill before setting the tax rate in August.

LaFreniere said she anticipates applying for the state’s Sudden and Severe Disruption of Valuation Program to have the state lower the town’s certified valuation for 2018-19 following the commitment of taxes.


I am anticipating that the valuation loss will be significant enough to allow us to apply, but we won’t know for sure until the numbers come in,” she said.

The town will not know if the state approves it until after April 1, 2018.

This past April, the state lowered the town’s certified state valuation for 2017-18 to $586.45 million, a decrease of $111.8 million through the sudden and severe program. The town’s valuation was also previously lowered.

The certified valuation is based on equalization and adjustments to the just value of all taxable property in each municipality as of April 1, two years prior, according to the state website.

The certified state value of a town affects its state revenue-sharing and state education subsidy.


Comments are not available on this story.