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Tipton County OKs $13M bond to help sell Getrag plant

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The Tipton County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved $13 million in incentives intended to help land a solar power firm interested in buying the empty Getrag plant on U.S. 31 near Kokomo.

The money will be used to create a bond the county will give to the trust of contractors that owns the plant, allowing them to lower the cost of the abandoned factory without losing money,  according to the Kokomo Tribune.

The plant, where transmissions were to be built, has stood empty since 2008. Getrag Manufacturing LLC filed for bankruptcy and halted work on the plant after the company's partnership with Chrysler LLC collapsed. The facility has never been used.

A federal bankruptcy court in Detroit turned the facility over to a trustee group consisting of contractors still owed money on the project. The court set a minimum price of $45 million for the property.

Tipton County plans to use Tax Increment Financing to pay for the bond.

The site reportedly is one of two locations the unnamed renewable-energy firm is considering to manufacture solar panels. The newspaper said the company could create up to 850 jobs.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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