The scrap metal company that bought the former paper mill in Bucksport has received a state permit to raze the structure.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Sept. 2 issued a permit to allow Bucksport Mill LLC to demolish the mill, which employed 500 people until its former owner, Verso Paper Corp., closed it in December 2014.

Bucksport Mill LLC bought the mill and attached power plant from Verso in January 2015 for $60 million. Bucksport Mill LLC is a subsidiary of AIM Development USA LLC, which itself is a subsidiary of the Montreal-based purveyor of scrap metal, American Iron & Metal Co. Inc.

The demolition project is estimated to cost $4.450 million, according to the DEP permit.

The project will generate approximately 14,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris and roughly 18,000 tons of scrap metal, according to the permit. The debris will be disposed of at either the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock or the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town, while the scrap metal will go to the company’s recycling facility in Montreal or directly to other mills.

The company still needs additional state permits, including a valid waste discharge permit, before it begins the demolition.

Bucksport also requires the company to obtain a town demolition permit. The town council is expected to discuss the company’s request for a town permit at a meeting Thursday night, according to Susan Lessard, who became Bucksport’s interim town manager eight days ago.

There are two components the council will discuss, Lessard said. One is whether the council will require the company to post a bond to the town worth 110 percent of the estimated cost of the demolition.

“The purpose of that is to allow the town, in the event that AIM did not complete its demolition in the manner and time frame it proposed, to draw on those funds to complete the demolition,” Lessard said.

The council will also discuss whether to require additional environmental testing on the property before issuing the permit, Lessard said.

AIM’s receipt of a demolition permit quashes any hope the mill would some day make paper again, but Lessard said she’s been impressed by the resilience and optimism of town residents.

“I’m sensing no negativity here,” she said. “People here are workers and they’re moving forward. Is anybody happy about how this has transpired? Absolutely not, but they’re — from my eight-day perspective — working hard to set a course for their own future and doing that in such a way that they will be less likely to ever be dependent on a single entity again.”

 

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