Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Council to Consider Wilson Financial Aid

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Council to Consider Wilson Financial Aid

Article excerpt

consider financial aid to one Oklahoma City business and consider criminal proceedings against five others accused of embezzling tax money gathered from city hotels.

Council members are being asked to approve a resolution authorizing Municipal Counselor Robert Allen to initiate criminal proceedings against five hotel managers who have not reported or paid hotel otel room taxes for their businessess.

Wilson Foods Corp. is the firm Oklahoma City officials are considering for financial aid.

They will hold a public hearing today to discuss whether the firm should receive a $915,000 Urban Development Action Grant from the federal government to reconstruct their edible oil and fat refinery located near their processing plant in Oklahoma City's stockyards.

In addition to the federal grant, Wilson is applying for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant; a $1 million state loan and about $3.5 million in county revenue bonds to rebuild the $5.5 million facility.

Wilson will not put up any cash for the project, but will be responsible for the $611,000 annual debt service on the various financial packages.

Officials involved with the project say if Wilson does not receive the aid, the company could be forced to close their Oklahoma City pork processing facility because the lack of the refinery here would drive up overhead costs.

Other states have made similar financial overtures to the company, officials said, leading them to band together in order to save an estimated 1,100 jobs associated with the refinery and the processing plant.

The council will also consider an interlocal ageement with the Oklahoma County Commissioners whereby the city would maintain the grant programs and use a portion of those grants to administer the funding of the reconstruction.

The deadline for the federal grants is July 31, so the project has been receiving "fast track" consideration from all the governmental agencies concerned. …

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