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October 1, 2015

Lincoln Paper and Tissue files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

LINCOLN – Lincoln Paper and Tissue has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its owner is looking to sell the mill and its assets under federal bankruptcy law, according to a statement released Monday. Additionally, a federal notice was also sent out to all of the mill’s employees of a potential closure of the mill as part of the process, it was announced. Court documents outline how LPT reached the decision to file for federal bankruptcy protection and the sale of the mill and its assets. The bankruptcy filing came just a few weeks after the mill announced that it was shutting down one of its tissue machines, putting about 20-25 people out of work. In the Monday statement, Keith Van Scotter, the mill’s chief executive officer, said that the plan is to try and sell the mill and its assets in a 60 day period.

Citing mill concerns, councilors opt against town office vote

LINCOLN – Lincoln’s town office will remain at its current location for now. Following nearly an hour of testimony during Monday’s special town council meeting, a question asking voters to spend a total of $1.25 million was left to die when no councilor offered a motion. Monday’s meeting was only a few hours after Lincoln Paper and Tissue owner Keith Van Scotter filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, looking to sell the mill and its assets in the next 60 days. He also filed a required 60 day federal notice informing workers about a potential closing of the mill on the same day, a decision which appeared to weigh heavily on councilors as they weighed placing the question on the Nov. 3 ballot Voters wold have been asked to  approve taking $250,000 from unappropriated fund balance as a down payment as part of a 10 year lease purchase agreement for the building, paying $2,070 per month over that span, reaching a total of $498,400 at the end of the term.

LP&T bankruptcy filing could impact town finances

LINCOLN – Monday’s bankruptcy filing by Lincoln Paper and Tissue, and its potential effect on town operations, was a topic of concern just a few hours after its initial filing. Mill owner Keith Van Scotter said in a statement Monday that a sale of the mill’s assets is expected sometime in the next 60 days. In his statement, Van Scotter also said that ‘management and current ownership will exercise every effort to assure the best possible outcome and are hopeful that a buyer will take the business to the next level.” The mill’s uncertain future, particularly for the approximately 185 people still employed there, weighed heavy on the minds of councilors on Monday.

Public safety director looking to reestablish support team

LINCOLN – Lincoln’s public safety director is looking for a few volunteers to support the town’s firefighters and police officers. Dan Summers said Tuesday that he is looking to reestablish a support team, which could provide hot meals or other items for firefighters or police officers. “I’d like to get (such a team) going again,” he said on Tuesday. Anyone interested in becoming part of a public safety support team can contact Summers at the public safety building (794-8455) during regular business hours.

Fire chief’s request to cover legal fees tabled

EAST MILLINOCKET – Noting that a full board wasn’t present; East Millinocket Selectmen tabled a decision on whether or not to pay Fire Chief Les Brown’s legal fees incurred as defendant in a lawsuit. Citizen and volunteer fireman James King alleged Brown poured industrial cleaner into coffee that he consumed and it made him sick. Selectman Mark Marston was not in attendance. James King versus Leslie Brown was recently decided by the courts in Brown’s favor and with the conclusion of the case, Brown presented the town a request to pay his legal bill of $4,795. The money would come out of the ambulance account and not through taxation. Selectman Clint Linscott said he believed Browns fees should be paid because Brown was working for the town at the time of the alleged incident. He was subsequently found not-guilty of the allegations and Linscott said he felt the board and the town should stand behind its department heads and employees. In addition he reminded selectmen that the payment wouldn’t come from taxation but rather through ambulance revenues. Linscott said because the decision was an important one for the board and Brown he’d like to table any vote until the full board could be present.

Accident knocks ambulance out of service, causes no injuries

MILLINOCKET—A traffic accident last week rendered a Millinocket Fire Department ambulance out of service with body damage, but the crash resulted in no injuries. The accident occurred Friday at the intersection of Central Street, Sycamore Street and Rhode Island Avenue while the ambulance, Unit 789, was responding to a call in Pamola Park, according to Millinocket Police and Fire Chief Steve Kenyon. He said the ambulance was travelling east on Central Street with its lights and sirens activated when it approached the traffic signal at the four-way intersection. Kenyon said the ambulance slowed down entering the intersection as the traffic light changed from green to yellow to red. At that same time a vehicle travelling north on Sycamore Street that was stopped at the traffic light entered the intersection as the signal changed from red to green. Kenyon stated the operator of the vehicle did not see the ambulance and collided with its passenger side in the box of the ambulance just beyond the cab. The vehicle scraped the passenger side of the ambulance’s box

Pair of candidates returns nomination papers for remaining council seats

MILLINOCKET—Two people have returned nomination papers to officially enter the race for the two remaining vacancies on the Millinocket Town Council with deadlines looming in the coming weeks for candidates to secure a place on the Nov. 3 ballot. Louis Pelletier has returned nomination papers to seek election to the two-year council seat, which will fill the remainder of the term of former Councilor Anita Mueller, who resigned last month, while Charles Pray has returned nomination papers to run for the one-year council seat, which will fill the spot created by the August resignation of former Councilor Richard Theriault. According to municipal officials, as of Monday morning only Pelletier and Pray have returned nomination papers while three other residents have taken them out to declare interest in running for one of the two openings. Tracy Leet has requested nomination papers to run for the one-year term while Michael Osborne and James Willis have taken out nomination papers for the two-year term.

Medway surprised by Woodville’s bid request for plowing contract

MEDWAY – Members of the Medway Board of Selectmen, as well as Public Works Supervisor Greg Hale, said they were surprised this week when they saw an advertisement in the Lincoln News by the town of Woodville seeking bids for the town’s plowing contract. Surprised, they said, because they have a five-year contract with Woodville to do just that and that contract runs through the spring of 2018. Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said there is an “opt out” clause in the contract requiring either town to give a 90 day notice if they wish to terminate it but as of Monday evening she’d received nothing from the town. That means, she said, even if Woodville decides to break the contract, residents will still have to pay for two months of service or roughly $15,000. Hale said the contract, which calls for Woodville to pay Medway $45,874 yearly for plowing, has not increased since the town’s first entered into an agreement several years ago. He said he had no idea why Woodville would be soliciting a new contract now. That is apparently how at least one of the Woodville selectmen felt as Medway Selectman Jeff Jandreau said he’s spoken with one who had no idea what was going on. There also appear to be conflicting information about when meetings were held or will be held to discuss the topic.