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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Environment - Wells sidesteps ethanol details: Investors ask county for $50 million bond [Updated]

"Wells County Council members are still waiting for key information before they decide whether to guarantee more than $50 million in bonds for a proposed ethanol plant." That was a quote from a Fort Wayne Journal Gazette story cited in 11/11/05 and 11/12/05 ILB entries. Today, in a story headlined "Wells sidesteps ethanol details: Investors ask county for $50 million bond": the Journal Gazette reports:

BLUFFTON—Hundreds of people packed a community center Tuesday in Bluffton, where officials hosted an information meeting about a proposed ethanol plant in Wells County.

The meeting, sponsored by the Wells County Farm Credit Services and Wells County Farm Bureau, came after months of discussion about a possible $134 million ethanol plant, pushed forward by Indiana Bio-Energy LLC. The company consists of a number of local investors, including a county commissioner and the chief executive officer of the Wells County Chamber of Commerce-Economic Development.

Because of the planned private-stock sale, the group of local investors is unable to share details of the project in public and have discussed the issue with only a few County Council members at a time.

Organizers were adamant that Tuesday’s meeting would not address the Indiana Bio-Energy plant or any of the issues surrounding it, in part because of federal regulations about the planned private-stock sale. * * *

The investors are asking the county to guarantee more than $50 million in bonds, which they say are necessary to get the project off the ground. Other money for the project would come from a mortgage and private investors.

With a construction price guaranteed through the end of the year, the investors are asking the County Council to make a decision on the bond issue before costs go up.

[Updated] Tracy Warner's blog (editorial page editor of The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne) has some good comments on the "Wells County conflicts."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 16, 2005 10:33 AM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Government | Indiana economic development