East Millinocket has a new wastewater plant after buying the one attached to the former Great Northern paper mill. It only cost the town one dollar, but that doesn't mean it the deal was a bargain.
East Millinocket now has to pay to run and maintain a much larger waste water plant. It also plans to build a brand new facility on the same site.
According to town leaders, the cost of constructing the new plant is tied to what the state does with the mill's landfill. Right now leachate from the landfill is processed at the plant.
If the landfill is capped then that won't happen and the cost will be lower, $8.6 million dollars instead of $11.4 million. Either way the town will demolish almost all of the existing structure on the site.
They will try to save pipes and ponds that are still in decent shape. Water bills for the 800 or so residents whose water flows through the plant have already gone up $120 per year.
That and the cost of the new plant are expenses the town never anticipated.
"Not by any stretch of the imagination," said "We kept hoping that big brother would resurface and run the mill and the problems would but away but we realized, come the bankruptcy court, this time we had to do something."
The target completion date for the project is sometime in summer 2018
That could change, depending on how much new building has to be done.