Media Archive

Milo to receive B&A's overdue tax payment

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 34, August 20, 2003

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

MILO The check is in the mail.

Selectmen heard last week that payment on the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad overdue taxes from fiscal years 1999 to 2002 " is imminent," according to Milo Town Manager Jane Jones.

As such, there will be no special town meeting to borrow money to get up-to-date on payment of school bills.

"We have received notification from the attorneys that payment is imminent," Jones said. "We're hoping to receive it within a week to 10 days."

The town, according to a settlement signed by selectmen and the trustee for the B&A bankruptcy, James Howard, will receive approximately $200,000 - two-thirds of the approximately $300,000 that the railroad owed in back taxes prior to filing for bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland.

Selectmen had been considering going to special town meeting to get voter approval on the additional borrowing of funds to pay overdue bills to SAD 41. The town is about two months behind on its $75,000-a-month payments, Jones said.

Once the B&A check is in the town's general fund, $150,000 will go toward paying off the school bill, the
town manager said.

The remaining money will go into the general fund to keep the town in business.

'This is not the end of the cash flow woes or budgeting woes," Jones said. "The fund balance is way down. We're going to have to absorb another $100,000 shortfall.

'The budget committee and the board of selectmen will have their work cut out for them in 2004," she added.

The budget process for 2004 in Milo starts in October. Not getting the full amount owed also means the town will not be able to revisit the 2003 budget, Jones said, and items such as paving and road construction, pay raises for employees and small capital funds like that which sustains the library are being put off until the next budget cycle.

In addition to Milo, Brownville is slated to receive funds in the settlement&Mac247; the amount, however, was not immediately available. The town of Brownville is owed approximately $40,000 by the now-defunct railroad operator. According to Brownville Town Manager Sophie Wilson, selectmen have not signed any settlement with the trustee, although the terms of that agreement were approved by the bankruptcy court judge July 23.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.