Oct 21 2016
07:29 am

You may recall last year's announcement that an Arizona ammunition manufacturing commpany was relocating to Blount County and would invest $500 million in an R&D and manufacturing facility. The project would employ 600 workers, including scientists and engineers, with average salaries of $90K.

State and local officials fell all over themselves to provide incentives, and touted the significant economic impact the project would have in the region.

The company's website hasn't been updated with any news about the project since the big announcement last year. Yesterday we learned that the company was shut down by creditors, their assets seized, and the property padlocked. All 30 employees were laid off, including some who are stuck with medical bills because the company had stopped paying insurance premiums.

Today, the Maryville Daily Times has a report on the situation, including statements from company and local officials saying they plan to move forward with the project in Blount Co. There's some interesting info about a couple of pending lawsuits, too.

According to the Daily Times, one of the lawsuits filed by the company's former pesident claims fraud and breach of contract by the company, including a further allegation that it “did not have the financial ability, resources, or commitments to construct a several-hundred-million dollar manufacturing plant in Alcoa, Tennessee.”

Back when this was announced, I asked if state and local officials had done any due diligence on the company or their proposal. It only took me about 30 minutes on Google to conclude that the company and their claims were sketchy at best. Apparently, our state and local economic development officials don't have Google.

Previous discussion:

Ammo manufacturer coming to Alcoa

AMI ammo factory deal could involve $20 million in state incentives

Incentives for Advanced Munitions International in Blount County top $26M

reform4's picture

What about all those juicy incentives? $$$ lost?

— A TVA grant of $6,769,224, which the federally owned utility has refused to publicly disclose.

— A previously undisclosed state economic development grant of $6,050,000, in two phases, which the state Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) confirmed Wednesday.

— A grant of $125,000 from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

- The $11,325,000 agreed-upon value of the 236 acres deeded over to the company Oct. 19 by the Industrial Development Board of Blount County, Maryville and Alcoa. The IDB acquired the bulk of the property, 222.5 acres, for $2,336,460 in 1998, county property records show.

"The agreement contains a “clawback” provision requiring the company to repay a portion of the value of the property if those investment and employment levels are not met."

Note "portion of", not 100%.

But of course, no one in this state will be held accountable for a colossal screwup.

yellowdog's picture

What about the bullets?

How can the reputation of Blount County survive if it does not produce bullets for the world?

fischbobber's picture

Does anyone know?

How much money and/or land were we actually bilked out of in this deal? This should be public record, open now that the deal has fallen through, and available for public scrutiny under the freedom of information act. How does one go about searching for the details of this deal?

yellowdog's picture

Deal not kaput yet

Powers that Be claim the Blount County deal is still on. We'll see.

Average Guy's picture

Just a few more details

I'm sure once the Chamber gives them money to pay their creditors and legal fees, all will be well.

fischbobber's picture

You know.....

If they paid off my house and gave me fifty million in cash and incentives, I could make it work.

Average Guy's picture

You're the man they're looking for!

Of course you'd have to change "could" to "would most definitely".

And it's okay if you don't really believe it.

Everyone else involved doesn't either.

jbr's picture

Seems it might be like

Seems it might be like investing in the Titanic after it hit the iceberg

jbr's picture

Suit involving munitions principals dismissed

Anonymous2's picture

I don't see it happening.

If fraud is involved the SEC or other fed agencies might investigate and that will end that company.
Haslam's thinking that giving away freebies at taxpayer expense to companies somehow helps this state is just skewed thinking.

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