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Work stops on Greenwood pharmaceutical plant

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Construction has stopped on a pharmaceutical facility being built with a $6 million loan from a suburban Indianapolis city.

Greenwood city attorney Krista Taggart says the city could foreclose on the Elona Biotechnologies facility within the next few weeks unless new investors take over the company. Taggart tells the Daily Journal in Franklin that the city is exploring all its options for the facility near Interstate 65 where insulin was to be produced.

Greenwood officials three years ago approved $8.4 million of incentives for the project, including the construction loan. Elona said then it expected to employ some 70 workers and spend more than $25 million on a planned expansion.

Elona told Greenwood officials of financial troubles in late January. In February, the company said that it had reached a deal under which the company would be acquired by private investors.

The newspaper reports the company founders didn't return messages and that its phone number has been disconnected.

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  • Too Good To Be True
    This company didn't go out of business overnight. They were in trouble from the start because savvy investors were much smarter than the politicians that gave away millions of dollars for and idea that couldn't work. The did not do due diligence on this project and there was no way it would ever get off the ground. The insulin manufacturing process is difficult, expensive and requires more than one ex-Lilly employee. The amount of money that was proposed wouldn't have gotten rhe job done and the FDA would not have approved the product if had actually been produced. Poor judgment all the way around.
  • Incentives
    I would like to know who is reviewing the deals for the incentives these cities are giving out. How much money has been wasted (thrown away) because the proper due diligence was not completed? My guess is there were all kinds of red flags in the financials and business plan of this company (Elona). A company just does not go out of business overnight without some shenanigans going on. Politicians have really fallen in love with these pie in the sky deals, at the tax payers expense.
    • City lost $13 million in unsupervised research gift
      Looking at this, the Greenwood City government played the role of investor with tax payer money into a speculative research project. No neutral input was received from persons with medical research knowledge. Venture capitalist, people who know how to invest and make money, have not put up funds. Basically, the city government is unqualified to make investment decisions...but took and lost millions(13 million on the Elona web page). We need to stop government from being stupid with taxpayer money.

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    1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

    2. Shouldn't this be a museum

    3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

    4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

    5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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