Silicor To Miss Yet Another Deadline, Higgins Tells Lowndes Supervisors

An upcoming deadline for construction of a new facility for Silicor Metals and Silicor Purification, which, combined, formerly were known as Calisolar, will not be met.

But Columbus-Lowndes Development Link officials are not prepared to recommend a course of action, Link CEO Joe Higgins told the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors on Thursday.

In August, the supervisors voted to give Silicor an extension on an agreement which stipulated Phase 1 construction (Silicor Materials) should have begun by Sept. 2 and Phase 2 construction (Silicor Purification) would begin by Dec. 31 or the company would forfeit a $94.25 million incentive agreement with the county and state.

The extension agreement gave the company until Dec. 31 to complete construction on Phase 1 of the project and until June 1, 2013 to begin construction on Phase 2 of the project, which is a silicon purification plant.

On Thursday, Higgins reported Phase 1 construction likely will start as early as April or as late as June. He noted a “third party” must review the project, before funding is put into place, and the process could take about eight weeks.

The supervisors authorized a committee – composed of Higgins; County Administrator Ralph Billingsley; County Attorney Tim Hudson; Board President and District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders; and District 2 Supervisor Bill Brigham – to meet with company principals to determine if another extension is needed and, if so, on what terms.

The committee will present a recommendation at the Dec. 3 supervisors meeting.

“We need a plan on how we’re going to proceed,” Higgins said. “I’m not prepared to recommend rescinding or extending the offer, today.”

A $75.25 million funding package was earlier approved by state lawmakers; the package includes a $59.5 million equipment and construction loan, $11.25 million for infrastructure and $4.5 million for local workforce training. Lowndes County committed to an additional $19 million in financial incentives.

Silicor officials agreed to build a 1 million-square-foot metal production and purification facility on 258 acres of land east of Industrial Park Road and the company is required to invest at least $500 million in the project, to bring 951 full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000.

Kristin Mamrack is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. and an alumna of the University of Mississippi who moved to Columbus from Atlanta, Ga. She covers politics, government, business, crime and education.

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One Comment on “Silicor To Miss Yet Another Deadline, Higgins Tells Lowndes Supervisors”

  1. The Real Story Says:

    A $75.25 million funding package was earlier approved by state lawmakers; the package includes a $59.5 million equipment and construction loan, $11.25 million for infrastructure and $4.5 million for local workforce training. Lowndes County committed to an additional $19 million in financial incentives……someone has some explaining to do!!!!!

    Mojo

    Reply

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