Gov. Paul LePage was named as a defendant in an ongoing dispute over $216,000 that the town of Millinocket claims it is owed for funding of the Dolby landfill in East Millinocket.
According to the Bangor Daily News, a complaint filed in Kennebec County Superior Court on Sept. 12 asserts that Stephen Bowen, commissioner of Maine's Department of Education, recorded approving a payment of $721,000 to the town under the state's Sudden and Severe Impact law in response to the devaluation of the Katahdin Avenue paper mill.
However, instead of receiving that payment, attorney Jeffrey T. Piampiano wrote, the town received $504,000 on the condition that the town take over operational costs for the Dolby landfill, which the state took over last year as part of an effort to keep two nearby paper mills open.
At that time, the parent company of two Katahdin Paper mills in the region, Brookfield Asset Management, told the state that it would need to assume responsibility for the landfill or the company would dismantle the mills to cover the costs of cleaning up the landfill.
As part of that deal, LePage has said that the town agreed to pay $50,000 annually toward the nearly $250,000 annual cost of maintaining the landfill and later broke that pledge. Town officials argue that they never agreed to making more than one $50,000 payment toward the operation of the landfill.