Millinocket spars with state over lawsuit

11:52 PM, Jul 26, 2012   |    comments
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MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Town leaders in Millinocket are keeping up efforts to collect more than 200 thousand dollars that they say the state owes the town.

Millinocket filed a lawsuit against the state last month. It came after Governor LePage's office held back $216,000 from the town in Sudden and Severe Impact funds. Millinocket's council says that money would have gone to support their school system. Town leaders claim that LePage held the money back because Millinocket refused to pay for annual upkeep of the Dolby landfill.

State officials responded to the lawsuit. They say Millinocket did not follow proper procedure under the Maine's Administrative Procedures Act and thereby missed the opportunity to have the matter heard in court. A judge is now reviewing that argument.

Town leaders say it has no weight.

"I think the state is grasping for a very very limited numbers of straws to try to float on something in front of the court and hope that something works for them," said Millinocket town manager Eugene Conlogue, "but in my mind this is a dog issue for the state...this is a real dog that they're trying to defend and I think in the end we will be successful because of it."

Conlogue says the town has looked into borrowing money to make up for the lost funds. At this point, it is not clear if the town's suit will go to court.

Millinocket is looking to pass a school budget at the next town council meeting.


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