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November 14, 2017

Eastport boatbuilder required to auction boat molds

Photo / Leslie Bowman
Photo / Leslie Bowman
Millennium Marine owner Cory Guimond, pictured in 2015 at the company's Eastport facility. The Quoddy Tides reports the company is auctioning four boat molds as part of a settlement agreement with Washington County.

A settlement agreement between the boatbuilding firm Millennium Marine USA and the Washington County government includes auctioning off four boat molds used by the company.

The Quoddy Tides reported that the county purchased the molds for use by the company, with the help of $524,000 in U.S. Economic Development Agency grant funds. The molds will be auctioned for a minimum price of $15,000. If the molds don't find a buyer, the settlement stipulates that Washington County will sell the remaining molds and equipment to Millennium for $2,000. Company owner Cory Guimond is required to pay the county a separate sum of $20,000 by Nov. 1, 2018.

Millennium, the county and the city of Eastport have been embroiled in counter lawsuits since 2016. Among its arguments, Millennium claimed it suffered losses due to defaults by the city and county. The city claimed Millennium owned overdue rent and additional money for repairs, removal of hazardous materials and personal property taxes.

Millennium, a third-generation family business that produced more than 600 boats over seven decades, moved from New Brunswick to Eastport in 2014 for a variety of reasons. In 2015, Guimond told Mainebiz that those reasons included being closer to the U.S. market, which represented about 75% of Millennium's market for fishing boats.

There was also potential for expansion into passenger and cargo boats, which were otherwise restricted by the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign-built vessels from engaging in coastal trade in U.S. waters. After searching as far as the Carolinas for the move, Guimond settled on Eastport for its deep water port and lack of harbor ice in the winter.

In addition, the city and county had already received a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to renovate the 60,000-square foot Guilford Mill for use as a marine renewable energy manufacturing facility. A deal with another firm fell through and Guimond picked up on the opportunity.

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