Millinocket asks Cate Street Capital: where's the money?

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Millinocket residents pressured Cate Street Capital to pay up the $2.2 million outstanding taxes at Thursday's council meeting. Cate Street Capital has been working on the plans to build an advanced bio-fuel wood pellet plant for almost three years. Paying the back taxes is one of the conditions the Finance Authority of Maine has established before it considers giving the company a loan guarantee of $25 million.

"The delayed payments are a direct result of the operating losses incurred at Great Northern Paper which ceased operations in January 2014. Great Northern is working to resolve the outstanding tax payments, and all parties understand these tax payments are a condition for the FAME loan guarantee for use at the Thermogen project. This condition will be met with a financial close on the Thermogen Project, anticipated for late May," said spokesperson Elizabeth Baldacci.

Some o the town remains skeptical, while others are optimistic.

"I have to be optimistic. I mean we have nothing up there right now. And this community has got to have some light at the end of the tunnel. So if FAME is willing to give them the money if they pay the taxes to us then I have to be," said Millinocket Councilor Gilda Stratton.

Local resident James Stanley said the best thing to do is pray about this issue.

"Economy wise it's not great because we don't have many working businesses in the area. And I think it would be a big plus for this area," said Stanley.

Besides the tax discussion, Cate Street also shared that it is updating the process of how the pellets are going to be made. The new process will be a combination of traditional pellet process and patented steam treatment process.

Officials said this facility can create up to 55 direct jobs and will assist the local economy in adding additional jobs in the Millinocket area.


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