Columbia County considers bond for wood pellet manufacturer

Columbia County economic officials might pursue issuing a $15 million bond to bring a wood pellet manufacturer to the area.

 

The county’s development authority approved a resolution this morning to explore the bond issuance.

Wood pellets are a popular fuel source in European markets, and the new company likely would export much of its product overseas, said development authority Director Troy Post.

It could take up to 60 days before the bonds are ready to sell, county attorney Doug Batchelor said.

Until a public hearing is set to discuss the bonds, officials will not release the name of the manufacturer or where the plant might be located.

The industrial development bond would be used to pay for the construction cost of the plant and $10 million of the bond would be tax exempt, Mr. Batchelor said.

The development authority will essentially act as a facilitator for the bond, he said. The burden and liability to repay the bond will belong to the manufacturer.

“We have not had one of these in a long time, but it is one of our primary functions,” said development authority Treasurer Pete Brodie.

Companies previously receiving bonds through the development authority include Augusta Sportswear and Westwood Club apartments, officials said.

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