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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mitsubishi To ‘Mothball’ $100 Million Fort Smith Wind Turbine Factory

The taxpayers didn't escape unscathed in the Mitsubishi deal, although the final taxpayer cost isn't quite clear.
Mitsubishi has decided to “mothball” its Fort Smith wind-turbine manufacturing that was expected to employ 400 at full production....To date, the Fort Smith chamber has paid a little more than $240,000 of a $585,000 incentive package used to recruit Mitsubishi. The chamber incentives have four components. They are: • Mitsubishi is paid $166,667 upon groundbreaking; • Mitsubishi is paid $166,667 when the plant opens; • Mitsubishi is paid $166,666 upon hiring 300 employees; and, It was initially estimated that Mitsubishi would receive $85,000 for support of temporary office space for “key employees to begin typical start-up activities,” temporary housing for key employees for re-location and a corporate Hardscrabble County Club membership for one year....In addition to the chamber incentives, federal stimulus funds were planned to be used to support $3.7 million in tax-exempt bonds as part of the Mitsubishi incentive package. The bonds, issued by the state, will be paid back by Mitsubishi but at a lower interest rate than traditional bond proceeds. The city of Fort Smith spent about $1.6 million in road and water/sewer infrastructure support for the plant.
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