Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Loan Delay Hinders $10 Million Proposal / Finance Authority Fails to OK $450,000 Loan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Loan Delay Hinders $10 Million Proposal / Finance Authority Fails to OK $450,000 Loan

Article excerpt

Oklahoma'seconomic development efforts received a blow Tuesday when the Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority declined to approve a $450,000 loan, casting grave doubts over the future of a proposed $10 million to $11 million manufacturing project.

That project could have provided upwards of 500 new jobs, according to officials involved in the proposal. The authority did, however, say the loan could be reconsidered pending an Oklahoma attorney general's opinion.

Tempers flared briefly Tuesday during the authority's meeting which had on its agenda a motion to loan the West Point Co. of Oklahoma City $450,000 to allow it to complete construction on a manufacturing facility near the industrial area near Will Rogers World Airport.

The 260,000-square-foot building was to be leased by Climate Master Inc. of Oklahoma City, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LSB Industries of Oklahoma City. Climate Master manufactures air conditioning and heating equipment.

Climate Master recently acquired a New York company in the same business, Fredrick Climate Master Inc., and contemplated relocating that company's operations to Oklahoma, where its parent corporation, LSB, maintains 12 to 13 plants employing over 1,000 people.

The action Tuesday, however, may force the company to look elsewhere - specifically out-of-state - according to Barry Golson, president of Climate Master.

Climate Master itself received a $1 million tax exempt loan from the authority Tuesday to allow the company to complete its financing of the relocation project.

Climate Master, in addition to its own equity investment and private financing, is receiving financial assistance from the Oklahoma County Finance Authority and help in the form of a Community Development Block Grant, according to Mike Woeffler, economic development director of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

However, Climate Master's lease agreement with West Point was contingent upon West Point receiving its financing, which it did not Tuesday. …

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