January 12, 2013 8:14:17 PM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
Two weeks after backing out of a $600 million that promised 971 jobs for Lowndes County, state officials are staying silent regarding the latest developments with California-based Silicor and its plans to continue to locate in Mississippi.
"We cannot provide any additional details on the project at this time," said Sally Williams of the Mississippi Development Authority. "It is an ongoing project as we continue to work with the companies to secure a site location in Mississippi."
Silicor Materials CEO Terry Jester announced Monday the company would continue to look for a site in Mississippi after a Dec. 31 deadline for Mississippi Silicon to place $150,000 in escrow was not met. Silicor Materials were to have also placed $50,000 in refundable escrow to hold the property it wanted for the second-phase silicon purification plant. The property is owned by Lowell Scales. It is adjacent to the second site picked by Mississippi Silicon, the phase-one silicon metals manufacturer.
The company was approved $75.5 million in incentives from state legislators during a Sept. 1, 2011 special session. The Lowndes County board of supervisors were going to contribute $19 million in incentives as well. No state or county money was ever given to Silicor Materials or Mississippi Silicon. While the county money will be used for other developments, Williams said the state money is still on the table for Silicor.
Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins has said the county spent almost $250,000 on the stalled project, criticizing the MDA for not ensuring the company had its finances in order before it was given the financial green light.
Williams said the MDA is doing its part on the front end.
"With regard to due diligence, MDA takes its responsibility very seriously," Williams said. "While we work with companies to put together a financial incentive package, MDA does not enter into final agreements until a company provides proof of financing."