A federal bankruptcy court approved the payment, a check was cut and within an hour of receipt, Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel “walked it straight down to the bank;” a check for $2,360,000 to cover taxes owed to the town by the now bankrupt AES Thames.
“It was a great Christmas present,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said he and Town Finance Director Terry Hart and Town Assessor Lucy Beit worked tirelessly and almost daily to ensure that Montville be the priority creditor in the bankruptcy.
“We had to fight very hard. Terry and Lucy and I were on conference calls daily with the court reasserting our position,” McDaniel said. He explained that once the court had awarded expenses to the trustee “the town got all that was left.”
“Once the deal was closed with Interstate Construction Services for $2.5 million, our contention all along was that we were the priority (creditor) and the lien superseded everyone else (AES Thames owed),” he said.
The original plan was to help bring in an interest to take over the site.
“I was doing a lot of fishing but never hooked anyone,” McDaniel said. “Bottom line, if you can’t sell the power, what good is a plant?”
AES Thames, a coal-burning power plant, filed for bankruptcy in February of 2011.