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Bank files foreclosure action on Florelle Tissue’s Brownville mill

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BROWNVILLE — The holder of the mortgage on Florelle Tissue Corp.’s mill filed action Tuesday to foreclose on the 1 Bridge St. property.

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, New York City, filed state Supreme Court action at the Jefferson County clerk’s office seeking repayment of about $630,000 in loans made to the papermaker starting in 2011.

According to court documents, the bank provided a $600,000 mortgage to Florelle in November 2011 and a second mortgage for $19,000 in July. At that time, the two mortgages were consolidated in the amount of $619,000, of which there is a principal amount of $610,570 due as of April 10. The bank also lent Florelle $30,000 in September, of which $29,393 remains due.

JPMorgan Chase claims Florelle has not made a monthly payment on the loan since Jan. 15. Documents do not show the amount of the monthly payments.

Florelle President Harry Minas could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but told the Times in January that a delay in receiving machinery from China, Italy and Wisconsin had set back the company, which planned to have as many as 75 workers by the end of 2012. At the time, the company had one napkin line operating.

Mr. Minas said four additional napkin lines were planned by June, which would bring the mill close to its employment goals.

In December 2011, Florelle purchased the former Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. plant that had closed in 2008. The company received state and local grants and loans to refurbish the plant and install new equipment to outfit the 94,000-square-foot building that had also operated as a Boise Cascade plant. State grants also helped train new employees with the New York Power Authority providing low-cost electricity.

The project, which cost about $4 million, received a $350,000 loan from the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, a $250,000 loan from the Development Authority of the North Country, a $125,000 loan from the North Country Alliance and a $100,000 grant from the Jefferson County Local Development Corp. It also received a $250,000 grant from Empire State Development Corp.

David J. Zembiec, deputy CEO of the JCIDA, said Tuesday that Florelle is current on its payments to each of the local development agencies.

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