ORONO — During a Nov. 9 special meeting, Municipal Review Committee board members agreed to a second exclusivity extension to Revere Capital Advisors LLC, giving the company until Nov. 30 to finalize the waste plant’s sale and move closer to reopening it.

The committee has agreed to sell Revere the facility for $1.17 million but will retain the land beneath it and provide certain maintenance services to the facility. The company will rent that land from the committee and pay the committee for services it provides, giving the group some income.

Revere will have to give a $150,000 nonrefundable deposit for the Nov. 30 extension, according to board President Karen Fussell. The committee granted the group its first extension Sept. 26. At that time the company gave the group a $250,000 nonrefundable deposit.

If the sale goes through, the company will get 95% ownership of the company, with the committee retaining 5% ownership, Fussell said. The facility should be operating within 10 to 12 months after the sale is finalized. “So, we’re still looking at a facility restart in 2023,” she said.

During a Oct. 12 Town Hall, Patrick Daly, Revere Capital Advisors LLC senior managing director, indicated that the company has a prospective operator for the shuttered facility. He did not identify the possible operator but stated that it is a company that “the MRC knows and I believe the MRC respects,” he said.

It is among the top four materials recovery facility operators in the United States and is “very well regarded,” he said.

As previously reported, whatever operator takes over the facility will have to run the facility’s three main operations, which include recycling regular commodities, producing pulp and producing natural gas, along with a number of other smaller operations, Municipal Review Committee’s Michael Carroll said.

The committee took ownership of the facility in early August for $1.5 million through a stalking horse bid when the facility’s bondholders failed to find a qualified bidder. During the roughly two years the bondholders had control of the facility, they made little progress toward its reopening, Carroll said at the town hall meeting.

“We, the MRC and its members, are finally in the driver’s seat,” Carroll said. “Under our ownership, we have accomplished more in the last two months toward the reopening than the bondholders had in the last two years.”

The facility ceased operations May 28, 2020, because of a lack of funding, according to a June 10, 2020, MRC statement. In February 2020, MRC gave the facility’s operators a $1.5 million short-term loan, but the facility stopped operating when it lost $14.7 million in expected funding from bondholders.

Since the facility’s closure, MRC towns have not been able to end their contracts; instead, trash from those towns has been diverted to other waste facilities in the state, often at increased expense to the affected towns. MRC municipal members in Waldo County are Belfast, Brooks, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Searsmont, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

The $70 million waste-to-energy facility recycles solid municipal waste to help preserve landfill space. Originally, the facility was supposed to open in April 2018. Several factors delayed its opening until April 2019, but then it was not fully operational until the following November.

The committee’s annual meeting is Dec. 14 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Orono Town Office.

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