Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Boeing Chooses Lake Charles for Plant Site / Oklahoma Unable to Compete, Says Scott

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Boeing Chooses Lake Charles for Plant Site / Oklahoma Unable to Compete, Says Scott

Article excerpt

The financial package offered by Louisiana was just too attractive to pass up leading Boeing Military Airplane Co . officials to choose Lake Charles, La., as the site for a $53 million aircraft repair facility.

The announcement came late Friday afternoon and was telephoned to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce offices where city and chamber officials, as well as a good portion of Oklahoma City's press corps, waited for several hours.

The call finally came and word that the Boeing executive council making the decision had chosen Lake Charles was delivered by Ward 5 Councilman Jim Scott who had led the fight to get Boeing to Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, Fla., and Lake Charles had been competing for about two months to attract the plant which would have added about 1,500 jobs to the market here with an annual payroll estimated at about $40 million.

Oklahoma City had offered a 20-year lease and $53 million in revenue bonds to get Boeing to Oklahoma City. That just couldn't stand up to the Louisiana offer of a five-year lease and general obligation bonds of about $35 million.

That difference in the bond issues apparently was the deciding factor, according to Scott. If Boeing had chosen Oklahoma City, it would have had to pay about $5 million annually in rent.

By going to Louisiana however, the firm will only pay about $750,000 annually.

While saying Oklahoma City had impressed Boeing tremendously, Scott said "we knew going in it was going to be an uphill battle and that's the way it turned out.

The main reason we were given that Lake Charles was chosen was the fact that from an economic standpoint the cost of operating the plant out there was just too much of a hill to climb," Scott said. …

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