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Maine Military Authority faces an uncertain future

LIMESTONE, Maine — Workers at the Maine Military Authority and Loring Industries hope to complete a lengthy bus renovation project for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority in the coming weeks, at which point MMA may lay off up to 53 employees if they are unable to find additional contracts.

The Loring Development Authority Board of Trustees discussed the contract during a June 20  meeting, and LDA President Carl Flora wrote in the meeting memorandum that there “is a great deal of uncertainty at this point” regarding the future of MMA.

Flora did indicate that MMA plans to turn the buildings they were occupying back to the LDA (buildings 7220 and 7230), and said that negotiations are underway between Loring Industries and MMA regarding the transition of assets such as tools, equipment, parts and facilities.

Flora said that MMA has notified the LDA that they intend to return the buildings “within a month or two,” and that revenue projections in the fiscal year 2019 budget “assume that Loring Industries will occupy these two buildings,” while terminating their current lease in building 7210.

These are currently the only buildings occupied by MMA, a company that formerly occupied “as many as nine different buildings” at Loring, according to Flora.

Flora said he can’t speculate what this means for MMA’s future, but it is possible for MMA to maintain a business presence at the Loring Commerce Centre without leasing any of the buildings — if, for example, they used a building leased by another company or sub-leased an existing building.

The LDA still has not collected roughly $800,000 owed in back rent from MMA, and financial projections indicate that the combined lease revenue for the two buildings they currently occupy  to be about $355,300.

Flora said officials from both Loring Industries and MMA met in Augusta on Friday, June 22, to discuss transition of assets.

As of June 28, he said he is not aware of any progress regarding negotiations between the two companies.

While MMA Executive Director Tim Corbett was not immediately available for comment, Tim McCabe, head of business development with Loring Industries, said on June 27 that while he is not able to comment on the meeting’s outcome, he hopes to hire as many MMA employees as he can for future projects at the Loring Commerce Centre.

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