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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This bugs me...

Last year Gov Kaine was spouting off...

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Pinnacle Wood Products of Virginia, Inc. will invest $1.4 million to open a wood products manufacturing operation in Wise County. The company will create 200 new jobs.

“Southwest Virginia boasts an impressive wood products industry cluster, and Pinnacle Wood Products will add great value to this growing sector,” said Governor Kaine. “Wise County’s local entrepreneurial workforce will meet the company’s needs.”

Sounds good right? Not hardly.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Wise County and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to support the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The VCEDA Board of Directors approved a $1.2 million loan to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to purchase equipment and machinery for this start-up operation. The Wise County IDA will lease the equipment to Pinnacle Wood Products of Virginia.

“After hearing the presentation for Pinnacle Wood Products, the Wise County IDA was convinced that Ray Whitt and his wife, Dorothy, have made conscious decisions to pursue this business opportunity in Wise County, and that they will strive to succeed, create ample employment opportunities for people of this region and will be excellent corporate citizens,” said Bill Hunsaker, Chairman of the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.

The only investment I see made was my tax dollars. Why would the IDA fund this? A plant that made the SAME THINGS, ran by the same Ray Whitt, went out of business in St Paul earlier....That is another story. Lets look at "our investment" one year later. From the Coalfield Progress.

WISE — Pinnacle Wood Products, which moved into the former Buster Brown factory in the Esserville industrial park last October, may soon get a roommate.
Pinnacle, which manufactures cabinetry and doors, had big goals to expand within two years to employ about 200 people, but then the housing market hit a downturn. When that happened, owner and founder Ray Whitt explained in a Monday telephone interview, contracts with companies that sell the kinds of products Pinnacle makes started drying up.
“Several of the firms that made commitments to us have taken such a severe hit they’ve gone bankrupt,” said Whitt, who says he’s in the process of drawing up a totally new business plan.
For the time being, Pinnacle employs only 15 people....

That's right, 15 people...millions of taxpayers dollars, in a building with this history.

"The $1.265 million loan the county obtained 10 years ago from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to build the old Buster Brown facility matured at the end of June, Snodgrass told IDA members, but the county still has $842,277.90 left to pay.
Since the IDA doesn’t have the revenue stream to pay the full amount down right now, Snodgrass proposed asking VCEDA for a 10-year extension.
The IDA unanimously authorized Snodgrass to ask VCEDA for an extension on the zero-interest loan at VCEDA’s next meeting, which is set for Aug. 21."

I'm feeling sick....We should have built a hiking trail or call center.

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