Friday, June 8, 2007

Fayette County ethanol plant, jobs in jeopardy

An ethanol plant proposed for Fayette County may not get off the ground because of a lack of water:

The determining factor in whether a proposed ethanol plant and agri-energy park near Glenwood becomes a reality is water. Without it - or a plan to get it there - the project could die, local officials learned Tuesday.

The officials discussed how to fund a water line to the proposed site at an informational meeting called by the Eastern Indiana Development District.

Whitewater Valley Ethanol principals Steve Hogan and Troy Flowers met with representatives of the Fayette County Redevelopment Commission, county commissioners, county council and Connersville City Council as well as Connersville Mayor Max Ellison, Utilities Director Harold Ellison, bond counsel, the commissioners' attorney, financial advisers and two project investors. Ryan Asberry, assistant vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.,
participated by telephone.

Nancy Kinder, executive director of the EIDD, said the investor group was scheduled to meet today to make a decision about whether to continue with the project in Fayette County or move it to another Indiana location.

Without a plan to finance a water line to the proposed site, Kinder said Fayette County would lose the $215 million investment and any hope of obtaining the additional $230 million investment that could follow. The scope involves several hundred jobs, according to officials.

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