MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Two towns in the Katahdin region got some welcome news this week. Both Millinocket and East Millinocket collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes owed to them by Cate Street Capital.
The New Hampshire-based company owns both the East Millinocket paper mill as well as the closed mill in Millinocket. Up until this week, Cate Street owed about a $1 million in unpaid property taxes on the shuttered mill. The company also needed to pay more than $350,000 to cover taxes on the East Millinocket paper mill for half of the last tax year. Officials in both towns say the payments were wired this week.
Officials in Millinocket can now use their tax payments to borrow more money as the town is facing a massive cash flow problem. Town leaders say even with the payment, property taxes in Millinocket are likely to rise next year.
"Starting this year...we're still going to be alert on what we spend," said town manager Peggy Daigle, "and we're going to try to not spend what we don't have to spend...so that we increase what we have over at the end of the year...so we have a better position next year...when we set the mill rate again next year."
Daigle says at this point the mill rate in Millinocket is going up nearly 12 percent. She says next year even more budget cuts for the town and its schools will be likely.
Officials in East Millinocket say their cash flow is looking better going forward. They say if Cate Street wasn't able to make tax payments on the mill in their town, the town would have had to hold off on capital projects.