Mill site developer seeks lower assessment on Bucksport power plant



BUCKSPORT — AIM Development Corp. wants the town of Bucksport to reduce the assessed value of its subsidiary, Bucksport Generation LLC, by $18 million.

AIM is currently redeveloping the site of the former Verso paper mill, which closed in 2014.

Bucksport currently has the gas-fired power plant valued at $60 million, according to the town’s assessor, Jef Fitzgerald. The plant is located at 2 River Road at the former mill site.

Fitzgerald told the Town Council at its Feb. 14 meeting that AIM proposes a value of $42 million — a difference of $18 million.

“So, it’s quite a substantial decrease they’re asking for,” Fitzgerald said.

“What are we talking on taxes for $42 million?” Council Chairman Peter Stewart asked.

“About $300,000 if the thing was abated,” Fitzgerald replied.

Town Manager Sue Lessard said the abatement request had been anticipated.

AIM’s request will entail the town of Bucksport hiring an engineering appraisal firm to assess the property and determine fair market value.

Unlike determining value for a single-family home, of which there may be plenty nearby, there aren’t any comparable power generating plants nearby to consider in determining Bucksport Generation’s value.

“It’s something that takes a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge about what these plants are worth,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s something beyond our expertise to handle locally.”

Town Councilor Paul Gauvin said, “Since nobody’s asked, I’ll ask, what’s it going to cost to have it appraised?”

Fitzgerald estimated $20,000, based on a quote from a Portsmouth, N.H., firm, George E. Sansoucy, which has previously done assessing work for the town.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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