RAYMOND, Maine — A contractor is filing for bankruptcy amid state and local scrutiny over shoreline work done to a property along Sebago Lake.
Raymond officials accused the property owner, Big Lake Marine Construction and another contractor of a series of shoreland zoning violations.
Town leaders say work was completed at two adjacent properties without any permits, an issue CBS 13 first reported in August.
Sebago Lake is the source of drinking water for roughly 16 percent of Maine and town officials are concerned that the alleged violations could threaten it.
According to newly obtained court documents, the owner of Big Lake Marine, Robert Durant, filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy at the end of November.
His company has denied the alleged violations in town paperwork.
Durant’s lawyer said that the bankruptcy filing allows those who owe money to continue their work and repay their obligations without diverting valuable resources to litigation expenses.
“Chapter 13 gives debtors a fresh financial start by allowing them, and in some instances, their small businesses, the opportunity to restructure debts to maintain operations while repaying what they can afford over up to five years, often without incurring the significant expenses entailed in most state and federal court litigation,” said Scott Logan, Durant’s lawyer.
Raymond town officials say the Zoning Board of Appeals has completed its process stemming from the property owner and contractors’ administrative appeals sought by the different parties. The board vacated a few of the original violations for being duplicates and the town withdrew a number of violations.
Durant’s company could face financial penalties for the alleged violations.
CBS13 asked Raymond officials and the town’s attorney if they were concerned that the filing may hinder any effort by the town for collecting fees. The town’s attorney said in an email that they were not concerned.
A civil case related to this issue is still making its way through the court system.
An enforcement case with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection involving Durant’s company is also ongoing.