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Carbon Motors still part of plan to revive Connersville plant

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Connersville Mayor Leonard Urban says the city east of Indianapolis has agreed to sell a vacant Visteon auto parts plant for approximately $4 million to a buyer specializing in returning such sites to the tax rolls.

Urban briefed the City Council and the Board of Public Works Tuesday about "a buyer that wants to put jobs" in the factory that auto parts maker Visteon closed in 2007 and sold to the city two years later.

Urban said a Carbon Motors Corp. police car plant still proposed for the site would fill about a third of the space. When Carbon lost out on a $310 million federal loan in March, it threw its Connersville prospects into doubt, but Urban says Carbon is lining up new capital. Carbon Motors announced in 2009 that it would hire 1,500 workers to build high-tech police cars in the plant, which the city bought from Visteon.

The Connersville News-Examiner reported that Urban said the sale should close by Dec. 20. Urban said in a telephone interview that he can't reveal the name of the buyer until the deal closes. But he said the deal means that the city about 50 miles east of Indianapolis will recover most of the more than $4 million in environmental cleanup costs it has spent.

After losing out on the federal funding, Carbon added a venture capitalist to its board of directors to help raise the millions of dollars needed to get the project off the ground.

"They're out raising capital. Things are going right down the road like they're supposed to," Urban said.

Carbon Motors' Chairman and CEO William Santana Li said Wednesday that the company is trying to get private funding for the project and still hopes to open a plant in Connersville.

"This doesn't change anything for Carbon Motors. All this means is that we may or may not have a new landlord," he said.

Urban said the new owner of the plant would work to fill the space Carbon doesn't need.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is working with the city and the proposed new buyer while still working on a deal between the city and Carbon Motors, spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock said.

 

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  • Venture Capitalist
    Great idea - we have been "going" to employ 1500 people in Connersville SINCE 2009. We've been on this project - first in Atlanta GA - since 2005. So NOW - we think its a good idea to bring on a venture capitalist to help us raise the money. HELLO - they are FOOLS.
  • LSP
    Is this the same LSP Energy that filed Chapter 11 in FEB relative to their MS projecT?
  • Connersville
    Word on the street is that LSP Energy is getting new $$ from the Dept of Energy and buying the building.

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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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