MILLINOCKET, Maine — The legacy of the Dolby landfill extends beyond its annual upkeep and projected closure costs. Local leaders are still intent on receiving $216,000 in education funding Gov. Paul LePage denied Millinocket in 2012 over a dispute about cost-sharing of the landfill.

A bill proposed by state Rep. Steve Stanley, D-Medway, would repay the town of Millinocket the $216,000 and resolve the issue. Stanley said his bill, LD 1184, would give the “town officials what they are legally entitled to.”

The fight began between Millinocket and LePage on March 7, 2012, when LePage claimed town leaders broke their pledge to pay $50,000 annually toward an estimated $250,000 annual cost of the maintenance and operation of the Dolby landfill. The actual costs have averaged $400,000 over the past three years, according to state figures.

For breaking the deal, LePage withheld $216,000 in “Severe and Sudden Impact” funding from Millinocket. This funding was triggered because of the decrease in taxable value the town experienced from the sale of the former Great Northern Paper mill to Cate Street Capital.

Millinocket officials denied breaking the deal and produced correspondence they said showed their commitment was for one year only. East Millinocket leaders said they also never agreed to multi-year payments for the Dolby landfill.

Neither town contributed funds to the state for landfill upkeep, other than the $35 per ton hauling fee for certain materials the towns dispose of at the site.

Millinocket leaders criticized the governor for connecting education funding to a landfill in another town that was crucial to new ownership of the region’s paper mills. None of these things, they said, had anything to do with the funding of town schools.

If Stanley’s bill passes, Millinocket Superintendent of Schools Frank Boynton said the money would be welcomed.

“It would pay off the money that the town put in [from its undesignated fund balance] to cover the shortfall,” Boynton said.

Stanley said that while his bill might eventually resolve the dispute between Millinocket and state officials over the $216,000, the future of the landfill is less clear.