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Mississippi Development Authority files claim against bankrupt Express Grain for $750,000

Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 4:49 pm News Flash Archive

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has filed a claim for $750,000 against Express Grain in its bankruptcy case.

The MDA claim, filed on February 16, 2022 by Special Assistant Attorney General C. Patrick Roberts on behalf of MDA, may be seen here: MDA Claim against Express Grain

According to the grant agreement, MDA was to pay EG $750,000 to assist in the expansion of its operation, and EG in turn was required to hire an additional 100 employees as part of the grant conditions. If EG failed to maintain that employment level for two years after completion of the project, some or all of that grant money must be repaid to MDA.

The grant agreement may be seen here: MDA ACE Grant Agreement with Express Grain

The Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation served as the local sponsor for the grant.

The grant application was signed by EG President John Coleman, GLCEDF Executive Director Angela Curry, and Michael J. McGrevey, MDA Deputy Director.

According to the grant application, the ACE Fund "was created for the purpose of maximizing extraordinary economic development opportunities relating to any new or expanding business or industry in the State of Mississippi ... by way of grants to local economic development entities...."

According to the grant application, the "ACE Funds [are] to be used to assist Express Grain Terminals, LLC with road, rail, water, fire suppression, building improvements and other expenditures related to their expansion...."

The grant application required EG to spend at least $18,017,250 on the expansion and create at least 100 new direct full-time jobs at the company, in addition to the existing 79 full time jobs.

These jobs must be created within 3 years of the date of the grant agreement, and then maintained for 2 years thereafter. The grant application was signed on February 27, 2020.

If EG failed to create or maintain the new jobs, EG was required to repay MDA a pro-rata share of the grant per short fall in new jobs created. A similar formula applied to grant repayment in the event that the new jobs were not maintained for 2 years.

MDA has filed a claim for the full $750,000 against EG in the bankruptcy proceedings. At some point in the next month, EG will effectively cease to exist along with all of the "new jobs" created.

The bankruptcy court has scheduled an auction of EG's assets this coming Friday, February 25.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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