Select board has proposed GPT repayment schedule under review
By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Sun
GORHAM — Two weeks ago, Town Manager Robin Frost said the select board would discuss Gorham Paper and Tissue’s proposed repayment plan for its back taxes in public session at its next meeting on Oct. 13. Selectman Mike Waddell had questioned discussing the plan in public session, Frost said it could not be held in a non-public session.
When the meeting opened Friday, however, Frost admitted she had erred and the board already had a proposal from GPT “under review”. Presumably the board had learned its details from Frost.
The town and paper company reached an agreement last year on a payment schedule for back taxes owned by GPT. This summer, the town agreed to the paper company’s request to suspend the $15,000 weekly tax payments temporarily because of a cash flow issue at the mill. The company has outlined a repayment plan to get caught up on the $200,000 in suspended payments.
The board held a lengthy work session with Berlin police chief Peter Morency, Berlin Deputy Police Chief Dan Buteau, Gorham police chief P.J. Cyr and Berlin Police Commissioners Jerry Nault and Marc Tremblay in preparation for the Oct. 16 public hearing, originally designed to gather townspeople’s input on the proposal for the town to contract for its police and dispatch services with the City of Berlin.
After that session was adjourned, the select board voted to go into executive session to discuss Chief Cyr’s firearms request, discussed in public on Oct. 2.
No vote or discussion was held after the board returned to public session.
The board agreed to begin its budget review in preparation for the March 2018 Town Meeting. The board will start budget presentations at 6 p.m. at meetings on Nov. 6; Monday, Nov. 13; and Tuesday, Nov. 14.
The next board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30.