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Fort Frances moves to seize paper mill equipment for unpaid taxes

Mayor June Caul says Riversedge Developments owes $437,000

The Town of Fort Frances is trying to seize some heavy equipment belonging to the new owners of the former Resolute Forest Products sawmill in an effort to recover unpaid taxes.

Town officials went to the mill on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to post notices of seizure.

Mayor June Caul says Riversedge Developments currently owes the municipality about $437,000 in taxes on the various mill properties around town.

"We haven't seized the mill. We planned on seizing some of the rolling stock mainly, [which includes] Cats, trucks, forklift tractors and so on. There's quite a few pieces of equipment out in the yard," Caul told Tbnewswatch on Wednesday.

The mayor said Riversedge moved two machines out of the yard last week, and the remaining equipment is lined up, apparently in preparation to be moved.

Caul said the town acted on the advice of lawyers.

"When you're going to seize anything, it has to be on the amount that is owed, so to put a seizure on the whole mill wasn't possible."

According to Caul, town officials tried to get onto the mill property to attach seizure notices to individual pieces of equipment but were denied entry, so they posted the notices on the gate

However, Riversedge's local manager subsequently removed the paperwork, she said.

The company's asset manager, Mitch Lepage, was not immediately available Wednesday for comment.

Caul declined to discuss next steps in the process of recovering the unpaid taxes, or whether she expects the matter to go to court.

"We're continuing to move forward with what we can do. I'm not going to divulge what's happening next because that is something we want to keep to ourselves."

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