Press-Republican

Local News

February 8, 2013

Laurentian Aerospace seeking funding alternatives

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

Edwards said Laurentian officials don’t want to comment about Verdant’s operations and its inability to follow through on the agreements. They have told Verdant that they would still welcome completion of the financing as planned.

“However, absent any certainty that Verdant is ready to proceed, the company has initiated discussions with other potential investors,” he told the Press-Republican this week.

A phone message left with Verdant CEO Eric Jergensen was not returned.

‘REMAIN COMMITTED’

The Laurentian project was first delayed when potential investors pulled back during the international financial crisis.

That was followed by the 2011 announcement, after which testing work began at the site. But, that was halted after financing again didn’t materialize.

The other members of the project consortium, including project engineer Robson Woese, project contractor Cianbro, Empire State Development, the County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency and Clinton County, remain committed, Edwards said.

“That is a big asset,” he said.

AGREEMENT READY

County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Erin Hynes said its agreement to act as a conduit for tax-exempt, low-interest airport-facility bonds remains in place. The IDA approved a resolution for up to $122.5 million in such bonds in 2007 and reauthorized that in February 2011.

Clinton County Administrator Michael Zurlo said that while there is no signed lease for property at Plattsburgh International Airport, the county still has that agreement ready to be dusted off and finalized.

“The terms and conditions for the lease of property at Plattsburgh International Airport remain in place, subject to the company’s closing (on financing),” he said.

‘MORE FAVORABLE MARKET’

While there is no question Verdant’s failure to comply with the financing agreements has been harmful, Edwards said this week, the market for such a project is now even more favorable than when the announcement was made in March 2011.

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