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Silicor will miss deadline; future uncertain

COLUMBUS — Lowndes County officials say they have been told by Silicor that its metal production and purification facility will not meet its Dec. 31 start date.

Lowndes County Administrator Ralph Billingsley tells the Commercial Dispatch that the announcement came during a meeting this week.

In August, Lowndes County supervisors extended a Sept. 2 starting deadline to Dec. 31. If the start deadline had not been extended, the company could have forfeited $94.25 million in state and local incentives.

State lawmakers in 2011 approved a $75.25 million incentive package for the company, including a $59.5 million equipment and construction loan, $11.25 million for infrastructure and $4.5 million for local work force training. Lowndes County gave an additional $19 million in financial incentives.

Billingsley said Link CEO Joe Max Higgins will meet with the board of supervisors “to let us know where we go from here, if we give them another extension or not.”

“I’m hopeful they can get this worked out,” Supervisor Jeff Smith said. “We definitely want to see this come together to bring more jobs to our community. So, I’m remaining optimistic.”

Silicor officials have blamed a lack of funding for their delays, claiming they have not been able to receive a commitment from their European banking partners.

In its original announcement, the company planned to create 921 jobs on a 250-acre site at the industrial park.

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