ORONO — Revere Capital Advisors now has more time to close on its exclusivity agreement with Municipal Review Committee for the shuttered Hampden waste facility after the committee extended the closing date for a third time at its Dec. 12 special meeting.

There is no commitment to a specific closing date at this time, Municipal Review Committee Executive Director Michael Carroll told Journal staff in an email. There is no deposit associated with this latest extension, but when the committee receives the $150,000 deposit that was associated with the second extension in the next week or two, he anticipates a closing date to be established shortly thereafter.

Revere had until Nov. 30 to close on the sales agreement when the committee granted it a second extension after a Nov. 9 special meeting. The committee first entered into an exclusivity agreement with Revere earlier this year. It first extended the agreement during a Sept. 26 meeting.

The company has been working with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to permit the Hampden waste facility, Municipal Review Committee Board President Karen Fussell said during the meeting. The company is working with the state entity to clarify conditions on that permit. The company and committee still hope to close on the agreement by the end of the year.

During an Oct. 12 meeting, Patrick Daly, Revere Capital Advisors LLC senior managing director, hinted toward a possible partnership with a company that is among the top four materials recovery facilities operators in the country but could not divulge further details.

As previously reported, if the sale goes through, Revere will get 95% ownership of the waste facility, with the committee retaining 5% ownership. The facility should be operating within 10 to 12 months after the sale is finalized. There are also other stipulations in the agreement that will help the committee recover some revenue from the facility.

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 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.

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.

While Revere is working toward a closing, the committee will continue to work on contingency plans to get the plant operational, Fussell said during the Nov. 29 meeting.

There will be more updates at the committee’s Dec. 14 annual meeting, she said. That meeting will be held in person at the Orono Town Office and livestreamed virtually through a webinar.

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